Experts at the ‘Africa Panel Session’ of the 2019 International Telecoms Week (ITW), which held recently in Atlanta, USA, have stressed the importance of broadband infrastructure investment in facilitating the growth of Africa’s digital economy.
Speaking on the theme “Enabling Africa’s Digital Economy”, Principal Analyst at TeleGeography, Patrick Christian, evaluated the African digital economy, noting that the study of global trends shows that Africa is maintaining its position as the fastest growing region in terms of internet usage, though data volumes remain lower than other parts of the world.
Christian, underscored the importance of the role content providers such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook, play in driving Internet traffic and the expectation that their traffic on the continent will increase with the growth of Africa’s digital economy. It is expected that having more content beginning to reside and be exchanged within Africa, will add tremendous benefits to the ecosystem.
A panel that included representation from MainOne, Google, Avanti Plc, Angola Cables, CSquared Africa, and WIOCC engaged in compelling discourse that highlighted these and other key factors for development in Africa’s digital economy. The dialogue centered on the notion that the development of the terrestrial network is key to growing the digital economies of all African countries, a point that was further emphasised by
MainOne’s CEO, Funke Opeke, who stated that the organisation had working relationship with the Lagos State of Nigeria to enable digital transformation through the deployment of 2500km of fibre across the state, adding to the almost 1000km of fibre currently deployed.
According to Opeke “Our immediate focus is to ensure we have fibre to the towers, fiber to schools, health care facilities, and other government agencies, fiber to the enterprise/business districts, and with a density to reach within 1km of the majority of citizens in Lagos. We envisage having network density whereby over 60 per cent of the population is within 1km of fibre access with the planned deployment.”