Modernization and Harmonization of Regulatory Frameworks Critical for Universal Broadband Coverage by 2030 – Ralph Mupita

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To ensure that Africa can provide universal broadband service by 2030, Ralph Mupita, President and CEO of MTN Group, Africa’s leading telecommunications company, has advocated for modernization and harmonization of regulatory frameworks.

He said this during the inaugural meeting of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues, which was hosted at the Peduase Lodge in Ghana’s Eastern Region.

Several notable African leaders, including Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, and H.E. Issofou Mohamadou, Former President of Niger and AfCFTA Champion, attended the event.

Speaking on the theme, Moving from Ambition to Action: The Role of Telecommunications in Deepening Intra-African Trade, Challenges and Opportunity,” Ralph Mupita said, “The regulatory frameworks for Africa’s telecommunications industry do not reflect our 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”.

Mr. Mupita underscored the need for intense investment by all stakeholders to achieve universal broadband coverage on the African continent. He said, “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 modernization of our policies and frameworks as well as the collective effort of all stakeholders”.

He further said, “As telecommunications globally sees rapid technological advancements, the continent needs to work towards having a robust regulatory framework which is relevant for the times and is future fit.  In line with this, there is also a need for fair share contribution from all ecosystem participants especially the private sector in terms of building and investing in infrastructure. He said this requires 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 continues to face – the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, effects of the Ukraine war, rising cost of food and fuel prices, inflation amongst others – Africa would need $100 billion capital investment to be able to remain eligible to provide universal broadband for all Africans.

According to 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.

By detailing its industrialization goals, the Africa Prosperity Network organizes the Africa Prosperity Dialogues with the goal of fostering greater economic cooperation between African governments.

Policy issues that would guarantee the successful implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA) were considered at the summit, among other things.

Many government and corporate officials attended the event, including Mr. Yofi Grant, CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC), and Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta.

Ebenezer Twum Asante, senior vice president for emerging markets at MTN Group, Nompilo Morafo, chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer at MTN Group, and Selorm Adadevoh, CEO of MTN Ghana, were also present.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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