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Ghana: Telecel CEO advocates for collaborative efforts and investment in digital public infrastructure

Chief Executive of Telecel Ghana, Ing. Patricia Obo-Nai, has issued a strong appeal for enhanced multilateral partnerships and collaboration between industry, government, and investors to accelerate the development of digital public infrastructure in Africa.

In her keynote address on ‘Digital Infrastructure and Innovation: Accelerating Africa’s Development’ at the Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D) session of the 3i Africa Summit on Wednesday, Ing. Obo-Nai presented a strategic roadmap for utilizing technology to rapidly advance digital infrastructure, innovation, and literacy across the continent.

“My first call on the topic is for cooperation and partnership between governments, industry, domestic direct investors and foreign direct investors to work together on increasing digital public infrastructure if we are serious about it. Let’s not just discuss, let’s implement” Obo-Nai said.

Ing. Obo-Nai highlighted three key areas that require attention to expedite the integration of technology into public service to benefit every community – infrastructure, innovation, and digital literacy.

Hosted by the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications under the auspices of the 3i Africa Summit, the MT4D sessions also hosted multiple panel discussions with experts from the field of technology, innovation and public information, who shared insights and solutions on expanding digital public infrastructure for inclusive development.

Citing a report on the state of mobile internet connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa that showed that15% of people on the continent remain without network coverage, and 59% have coverage but are not connected, Ing. Obo-Nai advocated for expansion of safe, resilient and high-quality communication.

“As a service provider, Telecel, we believe in investing in network infrastructure and will continue to do so. However, we also believe in participating in infrastructure sharing and co-investment programmes to close the gap,” she said. “This will ensure the much-needed progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 9 to provide universal and affordable access to the internet across Africa.”

Quoting the e-Conomy Africa report which revealed that Africa’s digital economy is one of the largest overlooked investment opportunities with a potential to add US$180 billion to Africa’s GDP by 2025, Ing. Obo-Nai urged stakeholders to invest in Africa’s innovative capacity and prioritise invention in schools and industry.

“Innovation is the fuel that powers progress and drives change. We must be more deliberate and invest in tapping into the innovative capacity of our talents and prioritize innovation in schools and industry to drive development at scale.”

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