Terrestrial fibre infrastructure investment, key to Africa’s digital economy growth —Experts

Experts at the ‘Africa Panel Session’ of the 2019 International Telecoms Week (ITW), held recently in Atlanta, United States, 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, Mr 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.

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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 high-level 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 further emphasised by MainOne’s Chief Executive Officer, Funke Opeke, who stated that the organisation is currently working in 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.

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