Private investors to put $70b into Africa’s telecoms sector

Private investors are expected to invest more than $70 billion into Africa’s telecommunications sector by 2012, a Reuters report citing the UN telecoms agency has said.

This amount the report says will surpass the $55 billion promised by investors at a UN-backed meeting in 2007 in Rwanda.

Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) was quoted by the Reuters as saying “in the first two years we had $21 billion, which makes me believe by the end of the five years we will surpass very easily 70 billion.”

The ITU brings together governments, regulators, academic institutions and businesses from around the world.

The telecommunications sector in Africa is the fastest growing. Companies active in Africa include Britain’s Vodacom, France Telecom, Kuwait’s Zain Kenya’s Safaricom, and South Africa’s MTN.

Africa, the report indicated has a mobile penetration of 42 percent, while only 8 percent of the people have access to internet connections, in a continent of one billion people.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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