News


Cairo closes doors on successful Telecom Africa 2008

11 June 2008 News

A major showcase for cutting edge information and communication technologies (ICT) that included an industry exhibition,Telecom Africa 2008, held in Egypt recently, presented a unique forum for brainstorming and an important networking platform for both governments and the private sector to chart the future course of the ICT industry.

Some 200 companies from 45 countries, including several from outside the African region, exhibited their products, applications and services. Around 70 heads of international companies and 50 ministers along with key regulators and investment bodies attended the event from 12 to 15 May.

While the exhibition underscored the latest developments in the ICT market, the forum sessions offered both regional and global insights on Africa's position in the ICT sector, its unique market drivers, and the host of factors critical in sustaining its most effective enabling environment. The 30 forum sessions covered topics such as public-private partnerships, entrepreneurial success stories, capacity building and cyber security.

A highlight of the formal opening was the launch of ITU's regional report, African Telecommunication/ICT Indicators 2008: At a Crossroads. The report contains an extensive overview of key sector developments, including a number of recommendations to sustain growth and deepen access to ICT in the region.

Addressing the opening press conference, Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General said, "Africa has been the fastest growing market worldwide over the last three years," adding that much of this growth had been stimulated by competition, policy and regulatory reform in most African telecommunication markets. "Today, the African ICT industry is an exciting place to be. Market liberalisation continues and most countries have established regulatory bodies to ensure a fair, competitive and enabling environment."

Growth in Africa's mobile sector has defied all predictions. Africa remains the region with the highest annual growth rate in mobile subscribers and added no less than 65 million new subscribers during 2007. At the beginning of 2008, there were over a quarter of a billion mobile subscribers on the continent. Mobile penetration has risen from just 1 in 50 people at the beginning of this century to almost one third of the population today.

Mobile subscribers are also now more evenly distributed. In 2000, South Africa accounted for over half of all Africa's mobile subscribers, but by 2007, almost 85% were in other countries. Mobile success, driven largely by competition, is also spawning new services such as micro-payment prepaid recharging, single rate inter-regional roaming and the uptake of m-commerce applications.

While mobile services have become more accessible and affordable, Internet access has not kept pace. It is estimated that there were some 50 million Internet users in Africa in 2007, translating into around one person among twenty. Over half of the region's Internet users are estimated to be located in North African countries and South Africa. In Sub Saharan Africa, only three percent of the population is online. The scarcity of international Internet bandwidth and lack of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) drives up prices, making Africa the most costly continent for Internet access, with an average monthly Internet subscription of almost $50, close to 70% of average per capita income.

79 young people from 45 countries across the African region also came together for the Youth Forum. Widely acknowledged as the region's ICT leaders of the future, the Youth Fellows engaged in talks, debates and interactive panel discussions with a full range of ICT stakeholders. Speakers addressed this vibrant group of youth seeking to advance an ICT agenda by promoting youth rights in communicating and using ICT, the role of youth in promoting cyber security, and generally empowering youth to improve quality of life through ICT.





Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

SAAB Avionics approves Elmatica auditor for PCB subcontractors
29 January 2020, Elmatica , News
Expanding on its international relationship with SAAB Avionics, printed circuit board supplier Elmatica’s Jan Pedersen successfully completed the Part 21, Subpart G training, regarding auditing of printed ...

Read more...
Electronics news digest
29 January 2020 , News
South Africa • More than 2400 people braved pouring rain in Gauteng to attend the 5th Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) at the CSIR International Convention Centre in December. The annual Department ...

Read more...
Appointment: ExecuKit
29 January 2020, ExecuKit , News
ExecuKit has appointed Marshant Benadie in a technical support role.    His duties will include developing business with clients within the electronics distribution and manufacturing industry; managing ...

Read more...
Repro installs new SMT production line
29 January 2020 , News
The company is actively seeking business for this new assembly line, which promises extensive flexibility and high accuracy, and can easily be expanded for higher production volumes.

Read more...
AREI’s plans for 2020
29 January 2020 , Editor's Choice, News
Erich Nast, chairman of AREI, discusses what the association’s plans are to tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Read more...
Check out Dataweek’s new-look website
29 January 2020, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, News
Our technical design elves have been locked away in our basement for months, improving the visual design and functionality of the Dataweek website.

Read more...
From the editor's desk: A fresh start, but a sad farewell?
29 January 2020, Technews Publishing , News
A couple of years ago, not many people had heard of Yekani. The company bought a stake in the well-known East London-based satellite decoder maker, Vektronix, and subsequently acquired it in its entirety. When ...

Read more...
Actum Group merges its brands under one roof
29 January 2020, Actum Electronics , News
Over the years, Actum Group has been built through partnerships, collaborations and acquisitions of leading companies with a long history and rich legacy in the industry. These companies include Actum ...

Read more...
Company profile: ETION Create
EMP 2020 Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook, ETION Create , News
ETION Create is an original design manufacturer (ODM) that has been in operation for more than 25 years. Originally known as Parsec, the company was founded in 1993, focusing on the design, development ...

Read more...
Company profile: Laser Stencil Technology
EMP 2020 Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook, Laser Stencil Technology , News
Since its inception in 2004, Laser Stencil Technology has grown into a prominent figure in the South African electronics manufacturing industry. Having been involved in circuit board manufacturing using ...

Read more...