Huawei ICT Summit and UBBS (Ultra-Broadband Summit) was held in Pretoria on the 19th July 2016. With the theme of “Broadband for All, Building a Better Connected Africa”, the summit was attended by some 300 delegates, including operator executives, experts from industrial standards organizations and consultants. The attendees gathered at the summit to discuss the ICT strategies for Africa as well as ICT development trends and hot topics.
Prof Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize the South African Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services gave a welcome speech in which she hoped that ICT infrastructure development can help improve government efficiencies particularly with regards to education, in order to improve educational standards and help job creation. In addition to this she launched in a ceremony, the statement of “Broadband for All, Building a Better Connected Africa”.
Li Peng, president of Huawei’s Eastern and Southern Africa Region, stated in his opening speech that “ICT has become an important factor for GDP growth. We are pleased to see that most countries of Africa have already been planning ICT national strategies and to this end, Huawei, as a leading broadband solution provider with rich ICT infrastructure experience, are willing to cooperate with regulators, carriers and related industry partners to build a win-win ecosystem in our region, to build a Better Connected Africa.”
The Namibian Minister of ICT Honorable Tjekero Tweya highlighted the importance of ICT as a way to advance and develop African economies. He hoped cooperation with enterprises, 3rd party organizations and governmental agencies can be achieved and regulators need to adjust regulating policies to reinforce infrastructure construction. He further stated that “solutions must come from both inside and outside of the country to support affordable solutions” and that the use of ICT cannot be underestimated. “In Namibia we take ICT very seriously and our target is to have broadband connectivity available to 80% of households by 2020” he said.
Also at the summit, Sharoda Rapeti, Director of Technology Media & Telecommunications, Deloitte, stated that government support is the most important factor in the development of the ICT industry, other factors being legal and regulatory, spectrum and infrastructure, tax incentives and talent pools of qualified ICT professionals.
There was much discussion at the conference with regards to ICT development amongst the delegates, and the general consensus was that video traffic in Africa is growing at a steady pace and most countries in Africa are undergoing digital transformation which will require Ultra broadband network infrastructure. Governments need to encourage investments both at home and abroad to facilitate broadband development. It is also imperative that ICT policies are defined to support development of small- and medium-sized enterprises and foster ICT talent.
The Huawei ICT Summit & UBBS 2016 was organized by Huawei together with Extensia to provide a platform for a high level comprehensive and multi-stage dialogue, aimed at encouraging regional operator executives and broadband industry partners to exchange innovative ideas, share success stories, and discuss models for sustainable industry development in order to maximize the potential of ultra-broadband.