Developments into the African Information and Communication Technology industry are fast and constant, with both local and international service providers recognising this as a high-growth technology market. The emerging economies of African countries are extremely attractive markets to businesses, both on the continent and abroad.
Due to this, the news is often filled with information regarding ICT service providers’ expansion plans on the continent. BT, a global provider of ICT solutions, recently revealed its intentions to increase investments into Africa. This will include two new satellite hubs in South Africa. The company aims to invest in the hiring of people, the development of infrastructure and the launch of services and products to meet the needs of rapidly growing African markets. Telkom announced last week that it intends to invest R12 billion into South Africa’s Next Generation High Speed Broadband Network. This is in response to increasing market demand for fast and high-quality broadband, and supports Telkom’s continued commitment to increasing the availability of broadband within the country. Telkom’s Wholesale and Networks division has also announced an increase in DSL speeds to ISPs at no additional cost. This will be effective from February 2014. This too has reaffirmed Telkom’s undertaking to providing a high-quality broadband service at low costs.
Local service providers within African countries are also hard at work to address the swiftly growing technology requirements of their markets. Ethio Telecom, Ethiopia’s telecommunications company, has accelerated plans to implement a 4G network across the country’s capital, Addis Ababa. Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has been awarded this responsibility on behalf of the telco to expand the required mobile infrastructure within Ethiopia.
The African continent is a hub of ICT growth and activity that mirrors the exciting economic growth in these developing markets. The business benefits of increased infrastructure, staff, services and offerings provided by these service providers are critical to this growth. Also of importance is the significant positive impact that technology can have on the social and educational challenges that many of these countries face. Investment into African ICT will continue to grow all aspects of these economies and assist African countries to realise their economic and social potential.