Information and communications technology (ICT) experts attending the Mobile World Congress 2023 (MWC2023) in the Rwandan capital of Kigali have said African countries need to strengthen and speed up efforts in the deployment of 5G networks across the continent to revolutionize industries, enhance connectivity, and drive economic growth.
The meeting, held on Oct. 17-19, brought together more than 2,500 delegates, including political leaders, government officials, experts, representatives from the United Nations and the African Union, as well as dozens of technology companies and start-ups, among others, from across Africa and the world.
“The rollout and deployment of 5G is expected to contribute to the growth of Africa by creating jobs and improving incomes. The ecosystem surrounding the 5G economy is much more powerful than any other technology that preceded it in the realm of digital communications,” Amir Abdelazim, a partner expert with Detecon Consulting, said in an interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of MWC2023 on Thursday.
He added that African countries should put in significant efforts to ensure the rapid deployment of 5G networks, unlocking unprecedented opportunities for innovation and economic development on the continent. “It is remarkable to see how startups in Africa are working to find innovative solutions that can catalyze the rollout of 5G.”
Elizabeth Migwalla, vice president of international government affairs for Qualcomm, told Xinhua that the 5G standard is designed to enable new services and use cases across all sectors of the economy.
“It is the capabilities of 5G that make this transformation possible. When properly deployed and used, every sector of the economy can benefit from 5G, spanning from education and health to governance and transportation in Africa,” she added.
While addressing the 5G session on the sidelines of the MWC2023, Li Tao, president of Huawei Southern Africa Wireless Business, emphasized that 5G technology has substantial potential to drive economic growth in Africa.
He noted that Huawei plays a crucial role in delivering 5G technology to the African continent. “5G can stimulate and promote the 5G industry further by enhancing various aspects, such as devices, ecosystem, and network.”
The momentum for 5G is growing in Africa. However, the initial focus for 5G deployment is on urban areas and industrial locations, where there is a greater need for the technology, according to Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa’s latest report by Global System for Mobile Communications, a global organization that unifies the mobile ecosystem.