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First FTTH Industry Award Winners announced on 29 October 2014

First FTTH Industry Award Winners announced on 29 October 2014

The FTTH Council Africa hosted their first annual awards on Wednesday, 29 October in Johannesburg.

"In an industry that is still relatively new, there are many challenges, trials and uncertainties. This year the members of the board felt it necessary to recognise some of the companies and individuals that are going the extra mile" says Juanita Clark, chief executive officer of the FTTH Council Africa.

Categories included Best Not for Profit Project Award, Infrastructure Innovation Award and individual awards Included Industry Role Model and Lifetime Achievement Award.

The winners in the various categories were:

Best Not for Profit Award: Fibreco for their commitment to skills development in the area of fibre optic training

"The industry is growing at an extraordinary rate and skill shortage has been recognised as a debilitating threat, Fibreco is investing in training 200 individuals to alleviate this shortage thereby supporting not only the industry, but creating jobs while doing so."

Best Infrastructure Innovation Award: Liquid Telecoms for their cross border, fibre optic network, currently stretching over 17,000km across Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho and South Africa.

"We appreciate the effort that Liquid has gone to in order to obtain border crossing approvals in an attempt to connect landlocked countries – this is no small feat and certainly deserves to be recognised."

Individual Awards were presented to:

Industry Role Model: Gustav Smit of Dark Fibre Africa for his role in the forming of the first truly disruptive competitor in the telecommunications industry.

"Recognising Gustav Smit was very easy and the reason he won the award was not because of just one thing. Gustav is a respected member of the industry and has built a very successful company.

In 2007 Gustav Smit was one of 2 employees sitting in in a small office, but they had a great vision. Fast forward seven year and DFA is seen as one of the major telecom players in South Africa with 319 permanent employees and an investment close to R5 billion."

Judges Award: Janine Rebelo – Vodaphone for her commitment to the fibre optic industry

Janine Rebelo's commitment and passion for the fibre optic industry is widely recognised. During her tenure at Vodacom Janine Rebelo was elected co-chair of the Metro Ethernet Forum's Africa Chapter and partnered with MEF to optimise Fibre and Carrier Ethernet synergies in South Africa and Africa. To this end they arranged training for 20 employees in 2013 to complete the highly sought after Carrier Ethernet Certifications which has been expanded to over 50 in total in South Africa through the support of MEF representatives. Her area of expertise leads her to host numerous workshops and present overviews on the benefit of fibre and application enablement, as well as showcasing where fibre optic technology fits into the bandwidth continuum taking financials into consideration. Today Janine Rebelo works for Vodafone and is responsible for their global IP-VPN roll out in US, ASIA, Latin America and 23 African countries to provide world class global data connectivity, but she remains actively involved in the local industry.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Andile Ngcaba – for devoting most of his life and career to the field of technology, in particular communications.

Andile Ngcaba needs no introduction. He is chairman, founder and majority shareholder of investment group Convergence Partners and also the executive chairman of Dimension Data Middle East and Africa. Through Convergence Partners, Andile is also involved in significant new communications infrastructure projects across Africa including Seacom (the first undersea fibre optic cable system serving Africa's East Coast) which was ready for service on 23 July 2009, the first private sector satellite in Africa (Intelsat New Dawn) which was launched on 22 April 2011 and a joint venture to bring high capacity, long-haul terrestrial fibre to South Africa (FibreCo). Andile was previously an ANC activist in the fight against Apartheid, and thereafter the Director General of Communications in the first democratically elected government of South Africa in 1994. He left Government in 2003 to pursue a career in the private sector.

We look forward to the 2015 Annual Conference and will, once again, recognise the industry for their commitment to broadband deployment.

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