[Column] Ahmad Mokhles: Africa's missing network: A case of inclusivity in the continent
13-11-2020 06:54:50 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 928 | Tags:

For more than a decade, Africa has been closely watched worldwide, touted as the next big growth market, an area of remarkable untapped potential.

There are many reasons for optimism: the African continent is home to some of the youngest populations globally. It promises to be a major consumption market over the next three decades, and it is increasingly mobile phone-enabled. An emerging digital ecosystem is particularly crucial as a multiplier of growth because access to smartphones and other devices enhances consumer information, networking, job-creating resources, and even financial inclusion. 

However, according to a 2019 report by the GSMA, the Global System for Mobile Communications Association, affordability remains a significant barrier to Internet adoption in Africa, resulting in social, digital, and financial exclusion. As a result, accessible, affordable Wi-Fi stands as a building block for growth in Africa - offering more opportunities to connect can only provide positive change in growing African markets.

Our parent company, Econet's vision, is of an inclusive, connected future that leaves no African behind. With #SasaiWiFiFinder hot spots, we can drive digital and financial inclusion in Africa, offering a low-cost connectivity solution. This initiative will allow greater connectivity in various locations, including retail, health care, education, government, and small business trade facilities.

At the end of October 2020, the #SasaiWiFiFinder hotspots network was activated in five countries, including Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, and Rwanda, providing locals with affordable internet access. This partnership unlocks the 'African Missing Network' necessary to accelerate sustainable economic development through digital inclusion for all Africans.

In the words of Henry Ford, 'If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself'. And this digital movement will not achieve the desired success if we don't move together.

Ahmad Mokhles is the Group Chief Operating Officer at Liquid Telecom