Airtel Africa’s Group CEO, Segun Ogunsanya has challenged the telecommunications industry in Africa to leverage emerging technologies to enable all people in the continent to connect, engage, and transact with the rest of the world.
Speaking at the just concluded Mobile World Congress in Kigali, Dr Ogunsanya noted that through these technologies, telecom players have an opportunity to step up efforts to bridge the digital divide, drive financial inclusion, and deepen the availability of affordable smart devices.
Generative AI as a Tool to Predict Customer Behavior
He cited Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) as a powerful tool for predicting customer behaviour and deepening insights about customer needs and preferences.
Opportunity also exists in intelligent connectivity, a concept that foresees the combination of 5G, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence to accelerate technological development and enable new disruptive digital services.
Investing in Building Digital Highways
“The telecom industry is in a unique position to make it easier for people to enter the digital world by deploying these technologies. This is through significant investments in building digital highways across the continent while creating a vibrant mobile money ecosystem. Through collaborations with equipment manufacturers and other key stakeholders, we can put smart devices in the hands of every African.” Dr Ogunsanya said.
Africa’s Unreached Smartphone Penetration
The Airtel Africa Group argued that a significant proportion of Africa’s young population still remains unreached with 59% smartphone penetration and only two out of ten Africans have a mobile money wallet.
They use emerging technologies in AI-aided e-learning to design the best curriculum based on students’ learning abilities, e-health to improve patient monitoring and enhance the efficiency of health facilities, Agritech utilizing AI and connectivity in crop disease detection tools, and achieving financial inclusion by integrating the digital highway, unified payment system, and intelligent mobile wallets.
Emerging Technologies for Smart Cities
The technologies can be used in smart cities for safe communities and efficient public utilities; development planning to predict population movements and help governments in designing urban and rural development; and smart metering for accurate measurement of usage, enhanced sustainability, and improved customer experience. Biometric technology can be used for authentication, privacy, access control, and non-repudiation.
Rollout of 5G Network to 14 African Markets
Airtel Africa launches 5G in 14 African markets, enabling digital connectivity and diverse opportunities.
The firm partners with Rwanda to provide 1 million people affordable high-speed LTE smartphones.