By: Ange de la Victoire Dusabemungu
Techs Experts convene in Kigali, Rwanda to discuss various innovations that will make Africa a digitally connected continent.
Under Mobile 360- Africa, the three day GSMA conference which started on Tuesday is a gathering of business leaders, decision-makers, policy makers, regulators and experts whose views will lead to the shared understanding on African Digital era.
Speaking at the first Day of the Conference, Rwanda’s Minister of Information Technology and Communication Ingabire Paula said “this is an opportunity to interact with everyone on the future of the continent that is determined to stop playing catch up, a continent that is determined not to lag behind, thanks to the technological revolution.”
“To achieve this desire and ambition as a continent, Africa needs to be deliberate in investing in Research and Development, creating the necessary conditions for progress as well as championing industrial development and innovations but most importantly creating the necessary skills.” Minister Paula added
Akinwale Goodluck the Head of GSMA Sub-Saharan Africa thanked the Ministry of ICT in Rwanda, the Rwanda Convention Bureau and other partners for their generous support to make the event happen.
“Now more than ever, it is critical that African countries unite around the harmonization of regulation and policy if we are to meet the goal of providing affordable access to the Internet for everyone.” Goodluck adds.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, statistics show that by 2018, Mobile Internet users were 239 million with the projection of 483 million, an increase of 10.6% by 2025.
Operators revenues by 2018 were $ 42 bn while the projection by 2025 stands at 51bn.
For Rwanda the Mobile Industry in recognition of the transformative power of ICTs in Africa is taking steps to overcome the challenge of low internet adoption by embracing the We Care initiative
“Technology development increases the digital divide, in urban areas compared to rural areas and richer people compared to poorer people. Firstly in Africa, we need digital inclusiveness” states Bart Hofker CEO of MTN Rwanda