Telecom Leaders Unite at West African Summit to Shape Future of Infrastructure for Digital Economy

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The second edition of the West African Telecommunication Infrastructure Summit and Exhibition took place on Friday, April 26, 2024, at the Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos State.

The event brought together industry stakeholders including representative from the Nigeria Communications Commission, Mr Victor Atoga, telecom CEOs  like Mr Chidi Ajuzie, Mr Ahmed Tijani, Engineer Ikechukwu Nnamani, the CEO of Digital Reality, Mrs Tinuade Oguntuyi, Head of Network and Solutions, ICSL, Mr Mark Dauda, MD AMG Logistics as represented by Mr Obinna Onwubiko, Head of sales and marketing at AMG Logistics and many more professional stakeholders.

Themed “Shaping the future of Telecoms infrastructure industry: Trends and Insights for a digital economy,”  the summit highlighted the crucial role of reliable infrastructure in advancing the industry. Discussions revolved around the need for government incentives to incentivize telecom service providers to extend their services to underserved rural areas.

Key discussions focused on sustainability, innovation, and the deployment of advanced technologies like 5G to bridge the digital divide. Speakers emphasized the necessity of collaboration between public and private sectors to ensure long-term connectivity solutions.

Engineer Victor Atoga, representing the Nigeria Communications Commission, emphasized the importance of sustainability in infrastructure projects, stating that applicants need to provide a sustainability plan to qualify for subsidies.

In his statement ” The government can provide funding but not in perpetuity, that’s why sustainability is very key as one of the requirements when we are developing projects. We expect that those who apply for some of those projects will come up with their sustainability plan. Part of those plans is that we give subsidies to the Mobile operators to expand their network to the rural areas “.

The transition to 5G technology was also a central point of discussion, with an emphasis on the need for both network availability and compatible devices.

” We do have 5G network for all operators, it’s not just having the 5G available, we should also have a 5G enabled devices” Victor stressed.

In addressing long-term sustainability, participants stressed the significance of innovative strategies and partnerships between government and private entities. The role of the Universal Service Provision Fund in supporting network expansions and community access projects was highlighted as critical for the industry’s future success.

The summit concluded with a call for collective action to ensure lasting connectivity benefits for all and drive the industry towards a more inclusive and digitally advanced future.

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