AfDB envisages the power of ICT for Africa’s transformation

19/05/2014
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The African Development Bank (AfDB) highlighted Information Communication Technology (ICT) as a vital tool that will contribute to the economic transformation of African economies.

According to Mthuli Ncube, the Chief Economist and Vice-President of the AfDB, many African countries have embraced ICT for socio-economic development, an important step towards achieving knowledge-based society.

He was speaking on Monday, May 19 at a session dubbed “Technology 4 Development” at the Bank’s 49th Annual Meetings in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

“We have seen potential and an opportunity in technology driven entrepreneurship across Africa especially among young people. ICTs are playing a significant role in transforming African economies,” Ncube stated.

AfDB’s ICT operations strategy foresees technology as a contributor to poverty reduction and economic growth of Regional Member Countries (RMCs) by increasing the Bank’s role in extending access to ICT infrastructure, stimulating private sector investment and enhancing good governance.

The Chief Economist noted that building robust ICT infrastructure on the continent will enable African economies have faster and reliable broadband services.

At the meeting, Huawei shared its ICT agenda that will shape the future of technology transformation in Africa.

Ding Yong, Huawei’s Vice-Director of Delivery and Service, said that partnering with African economies to achieve ICT development was one of the company’s main priorities.

“We have already set footprints in Southern Africa by supporting education programmes through providing Information Technology scholarships to students, donating technology equipments to schools among other activities. Our main focus is to enhance the socio-economic transformation of Africa using the power of technology,” he said.

Yong noted the Chinese-based technology firm commits to helping African economies build ubiquitous mobile networks by providing excellent user experience and promoting quick innovation.

He anticipated that mobile technologies in particular will play a key role transforming the socio-economic development of societies within the African continent in the next few years.

Huawei has created more than 2,000 direct job opportunities, and over 10,000 indirect job opportunities through local subcontractors.

To realise its vision, Huawei will provide customers with ICT values through big-data-based intelligence, smart business models, and establishing country-level information highways.

Yong called on African nations to explore the possibility of using advanced ICT technologies by embracing a robust technology policy to realize full connection between people, businesses and their customers.

The company discussed user experience and key issues that will most affect industry development over the coming years.

Huawei employs a workforce of over 7,100 across Africa and has created 12,000 jobs indirectly through procurement and outsourcing services.

Yong stated that Huawei plans to support and develop the sustainable growth of Africa’s ICT industry by cultivating local talent.