The African Union pushes countries to increase broadband penetration
The African Union (AU) has urged member countries to create strategies and policies aimed at providing citizens with internet connectivity.
With Africa still falling behind in broadband access, the African Union has encouraged countries to upgrade the continent's broadband infrastructure in order to attain ultra-broadband, such as the latest fiber-to-the-room (FTTR) broadband internet connection technology.
The FTTR solution extends fibers to rooms and provides various gigabit Wi-Fi 6 master/slave FTTR units, all-optical components, and optical cable assembly tools, allowing customers to enjoy consistent gigabit Wi-Fi experience in every corner of rooms at all times.
Magalie Anderson, director of management information systems at the Africa Union Commission, stated during the recent Broadband Africa Forum 2023 in Dubai that the region will require a reliable broadband infrastructure.
"We will require broadband access at all levels, particularly broadband access for all citizens." As a result, let us prioritise the allocation of broadband infrastructure and engage in accelerating broadband adoption across the population," said Anderson.
She stated that access to broadband by African families will allow citizens to participate in the development of Africa's industries and startups.
Anderson urged member nations to create plans and policies aimed at providing individuals with broadband access.
"We want them to use best practices from existing global implementations. Use cutting-edge broadband technologies and, more significantly, encourage and foster a culture of broadband adoption," Anderson said.
The Africa Broadband Forum, organised by Huawei and the World Broadband Association (WBBA), aims to provide a useful communication platform for the African broadband sector, promote industry consensus and partnership across industry members.
Speaking at the Forum , Martin Creaner, director general of the WBBA, stated that the Association is committed to closing the broadband gap in Africa.
Creaner stated that the Association is trying to create excellence in broadband everywhere through collaboration, knowledge, sharing events, advocacy, and lobbying.
"And the WBBA is bridging the gap, for all the players in the full ecosystem, for everyone to work together on both the supply side and the demand side, and the demand side are the key people who need broadband, whether that's consumers, the new metaverse, players, industries, such as manufacturing or medical or education or retail. And the WBBA is bringing together that full ecosystem in order to improve broadband for everyone," Creaner said.
He added: "But still there is a big difference between parts of Africa that have full optic fibre capabilities and others who are working towards that sort of capability and WBBA is committed to helping accelerate broadband for everyone in Africa."
According to Richard Jin, vice president of Huawei and president of the Optical Business Product Line, the African broadband industry has grown dramatically during the last five years.
"The overall broadband penetration rate increased from 8% to 12%," Jin added, noting a 50 million rise in broadband customers.
He stated that the region should brace itself for more inventive technology to connect new services and applications.