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The communications revolution defines our times. In Africa, it is estimated that almost half the population will own a mobile device by 2020. Driven by the private sector, this breakthrough enables users to not just make calls, but receive price information for their goods and services, transfer money by mobile banking, and obtain health information that saves lives. But too many people are still cut off.

In broadband, the access issues are even starker. By the end of 2015, only about 34 percent of households in developing countries used the Internet, compared to more than 80 percent in developed countries.

Improved mobile and broadband access is one of the most fundamental enablers of private sector growth and job creation today, especially in the emerging markets, and can quickly increase the inclusion of people once cut off from economic growth.

In telecommunications, properly structured PPPs can play a key role in giving local populations access to the latest technologies, increasing the efficiency of communications, and reducing the cost of services.

Learn about IFC's work in Telecoms, Media and Technology