Growing emphasis on need to connect Africa’s populations - CNBC Africa

Growing emphasis on need to connect Africa’s populations

Technology

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Ghana has about 30 million people accessing the internet on their smart devices.

This is according to Edward Ato Sarpong, Ghana’s deputy minister of communications, who also emphasised the West African nation’s resolve to doing this.

“In Ghana, we have six mobile operators. We used to have a monopoly owned by the state. Over time we realised that if we are to grow as a country, we need to deregulate the environment. So we opened [it] up and brought in more operators,” he told a delegation at the Impact Sourcing at Scale conference.

“We have mobile subscriptions of 29 million accounts. We have 13 million of these 29 million accounts using their devices for mobile internet services. A country that was about one per cent in terms of internet penetration, today, has about 30 million people accessing the internet on their smart devices.”

(READ MORE: Ghana’s ICT sector offers opportunities for investors)

Sarpong further stated that the ‘technology revolution’ is happening not only in Ghana but all across the African continent.

“If you go to countries like Cote d’Ivoire it’s happened. You move into Zimbabwe, it’s happened. You move into Malawi, it’s happened. You move across Africa and you see Africans with a passion for technology, trying to bring this closer to the people,” he said.

“Why are we so passionate about bringing technology to the doorsteps of the people, because technology makes a huge difference in the lives of [people].”

The conference, which aims to bring together stakeholders in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Impact Sourcing sector, has placed a strong emphasis on the role of ICT in employing and prospering Africa’s people.

(READ MORE: Effective e-learning necessary to create impact in ICT)

“It is said that Africa is the worst place to be because Africa is poor. The statistic is that over 400 million people in Africa live under the poverty line as defined by global organisations, but these people can transform their lives if we bring technology close to them,” Sarpong stated.

“A rich man once told me that wealth is always at the bottom of the pyramid, that if you can get a cent each from the millions of people at the bottom of the pyramid, you are on your way to wealth and to success. Where the benefit is, the value is, where we can touch lives, is at the bottom of the pyramid.”

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