M a r k e t N e w s

Africa Woos International Investors in UAE

Posted on : Wednesday, 10th December 2014

A large gathering of telecoms investors and the global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) community in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday of the investment opportunities that abound in the country, especially in the area of broadband.

Despite attaining active telephone line connectivity of over 134 million and a teledensity of 96 per cent, the federal government, yesterday said there is much to do to achieve an all inclusive penetration of telecommunications to every part of the country, through broadband deployment.

Speaking at the Leaders Lunch at the Qatar National Convention Centre, venue of the ongoing ITU Telecom World 2014 Conference in Qatar, the Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson said the theme of the conference, 'The Future in Focus', resonates, with the vision of the Nigerian government as the country works to build a better and brighter future for her youth population, using ICT.

According to Johnson, "Nigeria has been putting in place key policies and initiatives that set the foundation for the widespread use of ICT for government, businesses, and citizens to further boost their progress."

Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah, said he was particularly excited that the audience made out time to be at the Leaders Lunch, which presents Nigeria with the opportunity to interact with them and to update its stories and share experiences in broadband deployment.

According to Juwah, "Nigeria will focus on its ICT potentials and opportunities as a nation, which we believe you may have influenced in one way or the other as opinion leaders in the industry."

The NCC boss said Nigeria being the most populous nation in Africa with over 170 million people and having made giant strides in ICT development, it is obvious that a lot must be happening in our industry.

 
 

"Top on Nigeria's agenda today is broadband availability and usage, hence Nigeria's theme in this conference: Broadband Nigeria, Enabling Access, Transforming Communities."

He said President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has approved an inclusive national implementation plan for effective nationwide pervasive broadband deployment.

According to Juwah, from the regulatory perspective, NCC has entrenched the Open Access Model,which allows for inclusive, fair and transparent licensing processes as well as incentives for investors in the industry.

He said the NCC has tested the Open Access Model and it is workable in Nigeria. "In February 2014, we successfully issued a wireless broadband licence for the 2.3GHz frequency spectrum band. Regional fibre optics infrastructure deployment licence is currently being finalised for Lagos and the North Central region including Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. After that, the other five regions will follow, thereby creating huge investment opportunities for both current and new investors, and both small and big ones," Juwah said.

He said although over 75 million people have access to the internet, they currently browse on the narrow band and with our current maturity on the voice segment, the data market remains untapped.

Juwah told his audience including the outgoing Secretary General of the ITU, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, that a lot more potentials and opportunities exist in the country's financial sector where banks are yearning for broadband services to enable their indispensable data services requirements. He said the education sector also has huge demand for broadband data applications as well as the government agencies.

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ooredoo Group in Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, took the opportunity to highlight the need for partnership and collaboration between the world's key players, saying, "Amongst us are many of the world's largest technology companies. We are joined by many high ranking government representatives, policy shapers, from across the region and the world, as well as a new generation of entrepreneurs and app-developers. Feel our power, our combined experience and knowhow. Together we can make the future happen sooner."

Source : allafrica.com
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