CEO of Telecel Ghana urges cooperation to increase digital public infrastructure across the continent

CEO of Telecel Ghana urges cooperation to increase digital public infrastructure across the continent

May 20, 2024 - 07:43
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CEO of Telecel Ghana urges cooperation to increase digital public infrastructure across the continent

Ing. Patricia Obo-Nai, CEO of Telecel Ghana, has made a compelling case for increased multilateral alliances and engagement amongst the governments, companies, and investors on the continent in order to expedite the development of digital public infrastructure in Africa.

She made the call while speaking on the subject of “Digital Infrastructure and Innovation: Accelerating Africa’s Development” during the Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D) session of the just concluded 3i Africa Summit in Accra.

15% of Sub-Saharan Africans do not have access to mobile internet, according to reports on mobile internet connectivity in the continent; 59% do have coverage, although it is not very good.

Patricia Obi-Nai believes that in order to solve the massive gaps in connectivity, access, and usage, a good digital mapping of Africa will require cooperation from stakeholders.

“Telecel believes in investing in network infrastructure as a service provider and will continue to do so. [But, we also think that co-investment and infrastructure sharing schemes are important to bridge the gap,” the spokesperson said.

“This will ensure much-needed progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 9 to provide affordable and accessible internet access across Africa,” the statement read.

Patricia Obo-Nai urged stakeholders to invest in Africa’s innovative capacity and priorities in schools and industry, revealing that a report from e-Conomy Africa indicates that Africa’s digital economy is one of the largest overlooked investment opportunities with the potential to add US$180 billion to Africa’s GDP by 2025.

She emphasised that Africans must be more deliberate and make investments to capitalise on the creative potential of talents and priorities in business and education if they are to achieve success at scale.

“Will we have an African population ready to take advantage of it and accelerate our development if we have the infrastructure and figure out all the creative solutions?” Inquiries for Mr. Obo-Nai.

In particular, given that Africa’s working-age population is predicted to reach 450 million by 2035, Ing. Obo-Nai believes that expanding internet accessibility has the potential to provide millions of job opportunities and upskill young people for tech chances in the digital realm.

“Governments and businesses must invest in digital literacy courses to equip African youth with the skills they need to compete in the digital economy, from coding to digital marketing to cybersecurity and data analytics. Increase our kids’ exposure to and education about digital technology starting in elementary school, she stated.

Additionally, Ing. Obo-Nai counselled the participants to go beyond the talks and implement the solutions reached upon in order to ensure that digital public infrastructure will hasten Africa’s development.

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