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Tech can address Africa’s inequality

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Friday, Nov 17th

2017 Indo-Africa ICT Expo identifies opportunity in Africa's mobile market

2017 Indo-Africa ICT Expo identifies opportunity in Africa's mobile market

Organisers of the 3rd Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2017, which gets underway in Lagos today after a change of the host city from Nairobi, say the continent is on the cusp of development because global organisations are looking at Africa for ICT opportunities - specifically within the continent's mobile market.

Manoj Sinha, India's Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Communications, who is scheduled to speak at the event, says India has emerged as one of the prominent trade partners that can help African businesses grow.

"IT and telecoms form the backbone for the growth of any country and Africa has been one of the fastest growing markets worldwide in ICT adoption and communication technology. In recognition of the relationship and commitment between India and African countries, the government of India has proposed to host the 3rd edition of Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2017 in conjunction with IT and Telecoms Summit."

The 2017 Indo-Africa expects representatives from over 300 ICT companies based in India and Africa.

Nigeria's Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu and his Ghanaian counterpart Ursula Owusu-Ekuful will attend, according to a notice issued by the event organisers.

A statement from India's Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC), which is working with the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), to put the event together, reads, "With increasing IT investments across Africa and the proliferation of smartphones, Big Data is also on the radar of many businesses and telcos in the region seeking ICT opportunities. There is also huge business potential arising in segments such as products and services related to mobility, security solutions, e-commerce, microsite development, billing and enterprise solutions. Huge needs in areas of e-governance, education, security, healthcare and across private sectors are driving demand for ICT in Africa and other key verticals include BFSI, tourism, telecom and capacity building."

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank (AfDB), expects closer ties to be formed between Africa and India in ICT and other key sectors during industry and trade meetings that the AfDB organised in India four months ago.

"There are many opportunities around which we look to create productive and winning relationships with India, through investment and work on the synergies that exist between infrastructure, regional integration, the regulation of enterprises, skills development and employment, agriculture, health and innovation. In each of these areas I see the prospect for greater cooperation and collaboration with India, an inveterate and committed investor in Africa."

Research conducted by India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) and Exim Bank Analysis shows that India's bilateral trade with Africa has risen five-fold in the last decade, from US$ 11.9 billion in 2005-06 to US$ 56.7 billion in 2015-16.

The research also shows that from 1996-2016, Africa accounted for nearly one-fifth of Indian overseas direct investments, with Mauritius, Mozambique, Sudan, Egypt and South Africa as the lead investment destinations.

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