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Digital Inclusion

Nokia, ATU pledge to speed up Africa's digital transformation

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The African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and Finnish telecommunications company Nokia have together pledged to speed up digital transformation in Africa.

The two signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Nairobi, Kenya, this week saying they plan to leverage the power of telecommunications – including 5G networks – to connect the unconnected and identify innovative use cases, as well as business models.

"Our vision is to make Africa a full and active participant in the global information and knowledge society by enabling universal access to ICT systems and services across Africa. Collaboration with a global industry leader such as Nokia is therefore crucial in this regard and will help us accelerate towards a digital transformation and knowledge economy," said John Omo, secretary general of the ATU.

In addition, the MoU will lay ground for both organizations to better help governments shape telecom policy, develop talent and promote inclusion and diversity. This includes women, as well as the underprivileged in both rural and urban areas.

"We remain keen on supporting Africa's digital transformation journey and by collaborating with the ATU, we strengthen this commitment. We will leverage our global technology expertise and insights on policy matters to positively impact the universal socio-economic development in the continent," said Rajiv Aggarwal, head of Central, East and West Africa Market Unit at Nokia.

The MoU framework focuses on six tenets designed to help accelerate digital transformation:

  • Sharing of best practices on telecom technology trends and developments.
  • Identification of innovative industrial use cases toward the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  • Recommendation on implementation of emerging technologies and business models.
  • Promotion of connecting the unconnected with broadband.
  • Development of emerging talent for digital innovation.
  • Promotion of inclusion and diversity.

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*Top image is of ATU Secretary General John Omo and Rajiv Aggarwal head of Nokia's Central, East and West Africa Market Unit at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Nairobi, Kenya. (Source: Nokia)

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

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