ITU gears up for telecoms conference - CNBC Africa

ITU gears up for telecoms conference

Western Africa

by Dara Rhodes 0

International Telecommunications Union

“There are huge amounts of internet capacity in Africa and it has come suddenly. We do know that there are people out there that make it their hobby to attack individuals, institutions and entire countries through the internet,” Andrew Rugege, Africa Regional Director, ITU told CNBC Africa, at the preparatory meeting for Africa.

Mitigations that can be put in place to provide a secure environment for IT to develop the continent, were discussed at the meeting which was hosted by the Ghanaian government.

“We have made the Connect Africa goals - of connecting cities and major towns of Africa on broadband with fibre. That goal has largely been met and we are on course to meet the other goal of Connect Africa - which is to connect villages the broadband infrastructure” said Rugege.

According to Rugege, there is still a lot of work to be done, however, African governments as well as African citizens, have realised the importance of ICT in the social and economic development of the continent.

“The world is now almost up to 7 billion mobile phones. That is as many as the world has people. In Africa, the penetration is lower but it is growing very fast,” he said.

Statistics have shown that the world has had so many disasters and the reactions to these disasters save thousands of lives being lost.

“In our continent, it is difficult to have a whole infrastructure and dedicate it to just disaster management, therefore we are linking telecommunications development with the development of disaster management,” said Rugege.

“If you can develop infrastructure that can be used for other things but make sure that during disaster times, it is dedicated to disaster response, then you have killed two birds with one stone.”

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