from SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Cape Town
Western Cape Bureau
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – THE Africa Telecommunications Union (ATU) has outlined its commitment to reach the target of 35 percent broadband penetration in the continent by 2035.
This is a commitment to support broadband universalisation in all African countries.
John Omo, the General Secretary of the ATU, outlined the ambition at the fourth Broadband Africa Forum in Cape Town.
He said ATU had been continuously committed to rolling out broadband across the continent, not least because broadband is critical for economic development and social stability.
“Africa still lies far below the global average when it comes to broadband connectivity,” Omo said.
He pointed out that limited broadband inevitably led to limited economic development and global trade.
“We must place broadband development at the core of our discourse,” the ATU executive said.
The consensus at the forum in Cape Town was that Africa is on the cusp of a broadband expansion but some significant challenges are holding the continent back from realising the economic benefits linked to it.
Informa Tech, supported by Huawei, hosted the forum at the AfricaCom.
Representatives from ATU, African Union (AU), major operators, vendors and consultants also highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by the continent around accelerating connectivity.
Anderson Amlamba, director of the AU’s Management Information System, said network availability was impeding rolling out fixed-mobile convergence (FMC).
“The networks simply aren’t there,” she lamented.
Amlamba stressed the need for cooperation.
“Governments need to work with operators to help ensure that they’re enhancing and promoting their operations, rather than hindering,” she said.
– CAJ News