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Digital Inclusion

African Telecommunications Union and Ericsson sign MoU to accelerate growth of ICT in Africa

NAIROBI – The African Telecommunications Union (ATU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ericsson to help fast track roll out of technology across the continent.

According to ATU, a specialized agency of the African Union which is fostering the growth of ICT in Africa, the MoU will support the growth of ICT as a critical infrastructure for the 21st century and help set the foundation for social and economic progress in the continent.

In the understanding, the two organisations look towards promoting global and regional coordination and harmonization of spectrum usage to encourage economies of scale and maximize the affordability for all users in Africa.

"Our collaboration with Ericsson is geared towards connecting, innovating and transforming the continent into a knowledge economy," said John Omo, secretary general of the ATU.

Omo spoke during the signing of the MoU in Nairobi, Kenya and further noted that it is imperative for economies across the continent to become more competitive, agile, open and innovative in order to leverage on ICT innovations to transform African nations into smart economies.

Lauding the partnership with ATU, Ericsson Middle East and Africa president, Fadi Pharaon, said: "Our collaboration with the ATU will focus on spectrum management strategies. Leveraging our global experience working on spectrum management, we aim to share global best practices that will ensure efficient use of scarce resources and allocation of new spectrum. This will yield societal benefits that will enable a more connected and knowledge-based society in Africa."

This move comes at a time when Africa continues to experience an unprecedented growth in mobile broadband, with traffic, subscriptions, and ownership of devices growing at exponential rates. The continent has emerged as one of the strongest adopters of innovation, with a rapid rise in usage of technology and smartphones.

According to a November 2019 Ericsson Mobility Report, by 2025, Sub-Saharan Africa mobile broadband subscriptions will increase to about 70% of mobile subscriptions, with increased 4G coverage and uptake being the main engine. Driving factors behind this shift include a young and growing population and availability of lower priced smart and feature phones.

Developing countries today face the prospect of robust economic development given that mobile communications users now greatly outnumber those using fixed line telecommunication services. With radio spectrum a limited resource, the number of services and users that can be accommodated in any given part of the spectrum, remains limited, even in the digital world. Therefore, the harmonized and globally aligned frameworks as envisaged in the partnership between ATU and Ericsson will assist African countries in spectrum management activities that will facilitate cost efficient roll out of ICT.

African Telecommunications Union
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)

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Date: 08/20/20 @ 11:00 A.M. SAST

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Africa was the birthplace of Mobile Money and while it continues to rise in popularity, the industry is quickly evolving and launching more mobile-based financial services every day. In this Connecting Africa online event, local analysts and industry stakeholders will discuss how telcos are disrupting the financial services space and what the rise of Mobile Money 2.0 will look like for Africa.

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Date 08/20/20 @ 12:30 P.M. SAST

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Africa has the fastest growing population in the world and also the youngest, with 60% of Africans under the age of 25. It is clear that the next billion connected are going to be the mobile-only generation. This digital symposium will bring industry experts together to discuss Africa’s digital divide and how to get devices into the hands of young Africans and empower them to join the digital revolution.

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