Business Sweden, Ericsson and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs have together launched a two-year ICT venture in Sub-Sahara Africa with the aim of establishing a networked society in Africa.
One of the core objectives of the venture is to champion the rollout and application of ICT to help connect key aspects of society within African countries, including commerce, learning, health and governance.
The venture also aims to share knowledge, increase collaboration and trade between key countries and Sweden in order to strengthen the African ICT sector. Workshops and seminars will be hosted in ten African countries, some of the fastest growing markets in the world.
Stakeholders in the venture, including representatives from Swedish companies, government and vertical players from trade, ICT, energy and infrastructure industries will visit several key regions including Angola, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the launch held at the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria, Ambassador Anders Hagelberg said “This partnership reflects the climate in Sweden… I am proud of the long history of support of development in Sub-Saharan Africa, not only looking for nano interests rather a much broader perspective of the development. We believe we have a good image in African countries and in Africa. This partnership creates something through which we can support the development of countries in Africa.”
Ambassador Hagelberg mentioned that in addition to ICT, the issue of cyber freedom and its role in helping to create an environment for growth has been identified as a priority for the Swedish government.
Fredrik Jejdling, Head: Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “We are committed to our vision of a Networked Society in Africa, where technology enables new methods of learning and collaboration, innovative ways of doing business, and new approaches to old problems which results in a better quality of life. Over the past century, Ericsson has consistently explored ways in which we can deply our technology and solutions to support development on the continent.”
According to the mobile broadband network service provider ICT drives GDP and the vision is to establish a networked society that connects everything that is worthwhile in society.
Mobility and internet via mobility within Sub-Saharan Africa is a high growth area and focus for stakeholders in the venture.
This initiative will form part of the agenda of a bi-national commission meeting, at deputy president level, between Swedish government representatives and the South African government scheduled for October 2013.
*Image via Shutterstock
Chris Tredger, Online Editor