06 June 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Intelsat has joined Smart Africa, a public-private organisation that supports Africa’s digital transformation.
The satellite company said it wants
to work with governments and other organisations to reduce the
CEO Stephen Spengler said: "It is only by working closely with
local governments, partnering with other stakeholders
throughout the ICT landscape and sharing our knowledge through
training programmes that we will be in a strong position to
provide all of Africa with high quality, affordable broadband
The move was welcomed by Hamadoun Touré, the executive
director of Smart Africa – who started his career in
telecoms as the manager of the Intelsat earth station in his
"Intelsat has worked tirelessly over the past four decades to
ensure that the people of Africa have access to high quality,
affordable and reliable broadband connectivity," said
Touré, who helped to found the Broadband Commission when he was secretary
general of the International Telecommunication Union.
Intelsat’s "technology has supported the growth of
businesses in the more remote areas of the continent as well as
ensuring that communities have access to government services,
such as education and healthcare", said Touré.
Smart Africa says it is "geared towards connecting, innovating
and transforming the continent into a knowledge economy,
thereby driving global competitiveness and job creation".
organisation, which is chaired by Rwanda’s
president, Paul Kagame, also aims at "enabling member states to
become more competitive, agile, open and innovative smart
economies with the most favorable business climates that
attracts large-scale investments, rewards entrepreneurship and
enables fast growth and exports, leveraging ICT innovations to
transform African nations into smart societies".
Spengler added: "By partnering with all the key stakeholders, I
am confident that we can continue to narrow the digital divide
and create a sustainable broadband network that accelerates
Africa’s digital transformation and spurs further
economic development across all areas of Africa –
urban, suburban and rural."