Rack Centre in collaboration with PwC last week organised a webinar suggesting ways Africa can focus on Digital Infrastructure as an enabler for economic growth, Themed, ‘Africa: The Next Digital Frontier’, second in the series.
Chief Executive Officer of Rack Centre Dr. Ayotunde Coker, while speaking at the meeting emphasized the urgency to close the prosperity gap in Africa.
He said, “This can be achieved by investments and not aids”. He cited an example of the growth in mobile telephony and highlighted that that with much progress in the under-sea cable and broadband connectivity, these developments increase infrastructural growth.
Founding Partner of Convergence Partners, Andile Ngcaba said Africa now needs investments in hyper-scale infrastructure and the webinar is a great opportunity to discuss it.
“Since Africa 4.0 will be led by hyper-scale Infrastructure, we need to build mega data centres in all parts of Africa. Hundreds of billion dollars are needed to close the gap. We need direct foreign investment; we need men & women to build the edge network,” he said.
Mr. Ngcaba posited that there is much more to telecommunications and strongly believes in the youths of Africa to attain the 4.0 digital infrastructure.
He said, “Digital Infrastructure, Ngcaba added, goes beyond telecommunications, and industry players need to utilise the youth that Africa is blessed with as they will build the 4.0 digital Infrastructures.
Also speaking, Femi Osinubi, partner and West Africa Technology Leader for PwC Nigeria, noted that Africa needs adequate infrastructure to attain the digital revolution adding that the revolution is hindered by challenges facing the continent.
“There is insufficient power in Africa, low broadband penetration, insufficient data centres, last mile connectivity issues, and uneven infrastructure in the rural and the urban areas. And increase in cyber risks.
“And we need reliable data centres to drive digitalisation. So we need to invest in our networks and make them accessible and invest in power to make them readily available and increase the number of the data centres”, Osinubi reiterated.
Norman Albi, the CEO of AFR-IX Telecom, is also in support of the school of thought that the government needs to create policies and an enabling environment for the digital revolution. He says, “There is a need for massive growth and investment in digital Infrastructure. There is a need to remove entry barriers- the government needs to enable clear rules and an environment to develop skill sets.