One of Africa’s largest ICT gatherings got underway in Ethiopia today with the kick-off of the Innovation Africa Digital Summit in the capital Addis Ababa.
Now in its tenth year, the summit aims to promote digital connectivity across all spectrums to the benefit of Africa as a whole. The event will also provide for a platform for Ethiopia to share more details on the country’s plans to for develope one of Africa’s largest and most ambitious ICT parks.
“This is an opportunity for us to share our best ideas, to learn about the latest developments and to form powerful partnerships. The theme of creating sustainable national and international ICT ecosystems is indeed a powerful concept which will transform the global socio-economic environment,” conference chair Madanmohan Rao said.
Aida Opoku-Mensah, Officer-In-Charge of UNECA (United Nations Economic Conditions for Africa) added to the welcome address by saying, “it gives me great pleasure to be addressing the tenth Innovation Africa Digital Summit, which comes at a moment when the African continent is experiencing tumultuous advances in the growth and development of the telecoms and ICT sector. We are of the view that in order to unleash Africa’s potential, special attention needs to be paid to innovation, particularly in ICT innovation”.
MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa said growth in the sector has been enormous over the years. “Africa has more mobile phones than fixed lines and is still growing. Mobile phones have become the defacto standard for telecommunications on our continent. The growth has had an enormous impact on commerce, connectivity and all other streams of life. The enormity of the socio-economic impact of the mobile sector in Africa cannot be over emphasized.”
IT News Africa is currently in Ethiopia covering and participating in the summit which runs until Thursday 29 March 2012.
Charlie Fripp – Online editor