Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Philly Mapulane has told members at the Ministerial Forum hosted as part of the Africa Tech Festival that major opportunities lie ahead in the digital realm for investors.
The event is part of a forum geared towards building a future-oriented, intelligent digital infrastructure in Africa.
Mapulane said that government is not just building a digital infrastructure, but is also laying the foundation for socio-economic emancipation in Africa.
“This meeting is a pivotal moment to align our efforts, share insights, and catalyse transformative change in the digital communications sector across our continent,” he noted.
The minister noted that a digital infrastructure is not just about connecting cities and people but is also about connecting dreams and aspirations.
He argues that building a digital infrastructure is also about empowering the youth to access education and information at their fingertips.
It should be noted that government sees a South Africa that will have a digital infrastructure that is seamless, intelligent, and accessible to all.
“This forum provides us with a unique opportunity to develop a shared understanding of the importance and benefits of such a future-oriented approach,” Mapulane noted.
“By collaborating and aligning our policies, we can harness the transformative power of digital infrastructure to foster innovation, drive economic development, and pave the way for a more inclusive and connected Africa.”
A BROADBAND BACKBONE
Leo Chen, president of Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa, said that Africa should continue to build national broadband backbone networks to serve as the arteries of national network connectivity. In addition, he noted that this backbone network should be extensible across multiple domains.
“This means they should be able to connect to different metropolitan area networks and campus networks. Similar to a highly developed neural network, they will connect the last mile of connectivity to meet the needs of different scenarios,” he added.
According to Chen, the benefits of a good digital backbone are enormous and could mean an estimated increase of 5% to the GDP of African nations.
In order to achieve a great digital infrastructure, it is important that Africa and companies share the collective wisdom, vision, and resolve to excel in digital transformation, he added.
According to Chen, it is very important that we share different experiences and best practices across the continent when building a digital network.