Information and Communication Technology (ICT) experts in Africa have been tasked to develop workable solutions to address the numerous challenges in the mobile communications sector to accelerate economic development.
Dr Osei Darkwa, President of the Ghana Technology University (GTUC), who made the statement during the Second GTUC Conference in Accra recently, asked the experts to explore opportunities in the mobile communications sector to speed up development.
The conference was on the theme: “Applications of Mobile Communications in Africa: Prospects and Challenges”.
A statement signed by Ms Afua Amankwa Sarkodie, Head of Public Relations of GTUC, and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday, quoted Dr Darkwa as saying; “Today, the mobile phone is used to send text messages, transfer money, promote health services and provide access to education”.
There was, therefore, the need for Africa to cooperate with Europe in research and development, deployment and operations, consultancies and education and to learn best practices, the statement said.
It said: “In a continent where people have more access to mobile phones than to clean water, it is important for academics and experts to find innovative ways of using the mobile phone to solve some of Africa’s problems”.
The statement said mobile communications had been advancing at a fast pace in Africa and increasingly used as a platform to address challenges in health, education and banking.
It said through innovative Public Sector Reforms in ICT, there had been enormous development and prospects in Sub-Sahara Africa, though, more needed to be done.
The statement said there existed enormous opportunities for mobile and internet sub-sectors in Africa, because the economies were expanding, leading to broadening of the consumer base.
The statement said mobile markets in sub-Saharan Africa were very competitive with investors around the world keeping watch over events as innovative service offerings were being rolled out by multiple network operators.
Africa is the second most populous region of the world with over one billion inhabitants.
According to the statement though there had been tremendous growth rates in mobile communications, particularly in fiber optic cables and market penetration rates for fixed telephony, mobile communications and broadband internet remained relatively low.
It said the conference examined development of mobile communications in markets, regulations, business strategies and mobile communications for economic, social, and human development.
Participants came from academia, business, and policy and regulation sectors. GNA