Africa needs $100bn investment in the internet space -MTN CEO

Ralph Mupita, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Group, has called for the modernisation and harmonisation of regulatory frameworks to enable Africa deliver universal broadband coverage by 2030. This, according to him, would need about a $100 billion in investment.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues, under the theme: “Moving from Ambition to Action: The Role of Telecommunications in Deepening Intra-African Trade, Challenges and Opportunity,” Ralph Mupita stated that the regulatory frameworks for Africa’s telecommunications industry does not reflect its current advancement.

“They are still positioned for the era of voice. As the world continues to undergo major digital transformation and disruption, our regulatory frameworks need to evolve to reflect these technological advancements.”

The Africa Prosperity Dialogues is organised by the Africa Prosperity Network, and is aimed at achieving deeper economic integration between African states in outlining its industrialisation priorities.

The Summit, amongst other things, discussed policies that would ensure the successful implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The event brought together a number of distinguished African leaders, including the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the former President of Niger and AfCFTA Champion, Issofou Mohamadou, as well as many government and business leaders.

MTN Group Senior Vice President for Emerging Markets, Ebenezer Twum Asante, MTN Group Chief Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer, Nompilo Morafo, and the CEO of MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh, were in attendance.

Mr. Mupita underscored the need for intense investment by all stakeholders to achieve universal broadband coverage on the African Continent.

According to him, achieving universal broadband coverage on the Continent, and building digital solutions for Africa’s progress, requires a lot of investment, not only in terms of digital infrastructure across regions, “but modernisation of our policies and frameworks, as well as the collective effort of all stakeholders.”

He noted that as telecommunications globally sees rapid technological advancements, the continent needed to work towards having a robust regulatory framework, which was relevant for the times and its future fit.

In line with this, he said, there was also a need for fair share contributions from all ecosystem participants, especially the private sector, in terms of building and investing in infrastructure.

He indicated that it required a fair share contribution by both local and international players, including mobile network operators and OTTs.

The President and CEO of MTN Group also indicated that given the challenges Africa continued to face, the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, effects of the Ukraine war, rising costs of food and fuel prices, and inflation amongst others, Africa would need $100 billion capital investment to be able to remain eligible to provide universal broadband coverage for all Africans.

According to a report by the World Bank: The Broadband for all Working Group – across Africa, where less than a third of the population has access to broadband connectivity, achieving universal affordable and good quality internet access by 2023 will require an investment of about $100 billion.


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