$18bn African Investment – but can the Middle East take the call?

Since 2001, Investment into the African telecommunications sector has hit $18bn, however Africa has missed many opportunities to deploy cable infrastructure to the same extent as its competitive continents such as the Middle East and Asia.

Nevertheless leading authorities understand that such an infrastructure is vital for the continents development and they are planning to announce future moves into 4G at NGT Africa summit hosted by GDS international.

South Africa’s international connectivity received a major boost last year with the launch of the Seacom cable, a high-bandwidth data link connecting Africa with India and Europe. Two further major cables, the West African Cable System and the East African Submarine Cable, are due to come into operation over the next two years.

Africa can offer competitive prices to emerging companies and has obvious mass growth potential. Recent infrastructure improvements throughout the African Markets have allowed the continent to rival the likes of Dubai. As a direct result of the NGT meetings regions such as East Africa are now the choice of many multinationals as a gateway to the Middle East and Africa.

“So far, technology has been a strong point for Dubai. But the arrival of the new submarine cables will allow Africa to run services at a reduced cost.” Will Gary Austin, NGT Director.

With so much growth potential and increased investments into the African telecoms market it comes as no surprise that the Middle East telecoms elite have been quick to announce their attendance at the NGT MENA summit to discuss how they plan to maintain their dominance within the market and provide the best services possible to outside investors.

Representatives confirmed to attend the NGT Discussions include Tony Shakib – VP Service provider Emerging Markets from CISCO and Knut Aasrud GM Communications Sector EMEA who will be on hand to share their thought leadership as technology innovators with Ghana Telecom (Vodafone Ghana) – Eric Valentine, Head of Technology Core Networks Orange Uganda – Phillipe Luxey, CEO MTN Group – Sifiso Dabengwa , COO Telkom SA – Charlotte Mokoena, CEO Vodacom Group – Vujani Jarana, Ex. Director Operations Virgin Mobile South Africa – Steve Bailey, CEO

“Cisco and SEACOM share a common goal to enable accessible broadband across Africa while lowering the cost of communication to spur growth within urban and rural communities. We’re working with SEACOM to help transform Africa by outlining process change, building networks, and then providing the application services and expertise that support key services for citizens, such as education, healthcare, public safety, economic development, and national security. SEACOM will provide the catalyst for African consumers, business and government to realise the benefits of connectivity and collaboration across the globe.” Courtesy of CISCO Systems Inc