Airtel Africa’s Group CEO, Segun Ogunsanya has challenged the telecommunications industry in Africa to leverage emerging technologies to enable all people in the continent to connect, engage and transact with the rest of the world.
Speaking at the just concluded Mobile World Congress in Kigali, Dr Ogunsanya noted that through these technologies, telecom players have an opportunity to step up efforts to bridge the digital divide, drive financial inclusion and deepen availability of affordable smart devices. He cited Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) as a powerful tool for predicting customer behaviour and deepening insights about customer needs and preferences. Opportunity also exists in intelligent connectivity, a concept that foresees the combination of 5G, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence to accelerate technological development and enable new disruptive digital services.
“The telecom industry is in a unique position to make it easier for people to enter the digital world by deploying these technologies. This is through significant investments in building digital highways across the continent, while creating a vibrant mobile money ecosystem. Through collaborations with equipment manufacturers and other key stakeholders, we can put smart devices in the hands of every African.” Dr Ogunsanya said.
The Airtel Africa Group argued that a significant proportion of Africa’s young population still remains unreached with 59% smartphone penetration and only two out of ten Africans have a mobile money wallet.