INTERVIEW: Millicom chief Mauricio Ramos painted a picture of connectivity as a means of dispelling misconceptions about the Latin and Central American markets where the company operates, urging key financial communities to back a play which will link a largely younger demographic with the world.

Ramos (pictured) told Mobile World Live digital highways comprised of the latest mobile and fixed-line technologies are key to unlocking the full potential of a region which is often characterised as financially poor, beset by gang violence and where the people cannot wait to emigrate to the US.

“The food is not better in the US”, Ramos joked as he explained work is the main reason people emigrate.

He envisions a world where 4G, 5G and fibre connectivity would enable people to work for Silicon Valley from their own country, in turn unlocking the full potential of a region with “a booming economy, with GDP growth and high vaccination rates”.

Getting the message out about such factors is key to attract the investment necessary: Ramos cited International Development Bank figures showing sums of $50 billion and $20 billion are required for fibre and mobile networks, respectively.

With 50 per cent of the population in Millicom’s markets aged less than 20 years-old, Ramos sees great potential in unlocking the “alchemy” of demographic and connectivity to deliver innovation.

Watch the full interview here.