MWC AFRICA, KIGALI: GSMA director general Mats Granryd (pictured) emphasised the powers of mobile connectivity and industry collaboration as major catalysts towards socioeconomic welfare, naming Rwanda as a leader in pushing digital acceleration in the African continent.
Granryd opened today’s keynote by recalling a story on how mobile technology has transformed the world in fundamental ways: before solar energy system and mobile banking were introduced, a local nurse had to close her home clinic after dark.
Today, her neighbouring communities have access to a responsive healthcare system – progressing the growth of social welfare and inclusion.
The account points to the ample opportunities introduced by partnership across business sectors, a crucial factor in leveraging digitalisation for the greater good and closing key barriers.
“Together, we need to make sure we are building towards a better and more resilient future for everyone. That means we are leaving no one behind,” he said.
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile growth and penetration rates continue to grow. By the end of 2021, the region had more than 500 million mobile subscribers (more than 46 per cent of its population), offering a promising outlook on the continent’s digital acceleration.
However, Granryd warned of ongoing challenges, noting private sectors, government and civil society must work together to untangle the gender gap, digital literacy and cost issues.
Also appearing on the keynote session, Nompilo Morafo, chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer at MTN, concurred on the region’s challenges.
“Companies cannot do it alone. The government cannot do it alone. We need to make sure true collaborations really enhance digital economies across the continent.”