Intelsat joins Smart Africa to held reduce digital divide
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 digital divide.
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 connectivity.”
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 native Mali.
“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”.
The 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.”
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