LIVE FROM MWC KIGALI 2023: The MD of Vodacom Tanzania Philip Besiimire (pictured) outlined some of the challenges besieging operators in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa including power supply and regulatory hurdles, but maintained the region offered a massive opportunity.
During his keynote the executive described the progress made in the continent’s mobile revolution over the last decade as an “exemplary success story” though added it was currently at a crossroads with huge potential for a fully connected continent but also issues at large.
“Quite a lot of challenges besiege the industry or the various players in the ecosystem,” he added. “Whether it’s cost of deployment, power supply, regulatory handles, sometimes the terrain [or] geography of where we have to go to, climate and environmental factors.”
As an example, he pointed to current preparations being made at his operation for a potential El Nino in Tanzania.
Among the potential innovative solutions to issues on the continent cited by the executive were satellite connectivity for remote areas, and the greater deployment of solar energy to solve power issues.
“The opportunity for us in Africa is massive and we can do a lot to continue to solving some of these challenges,” he said, adding “I believe that connected Africa with 5G acceleration will help us leap-frog within the fourth industrial revolution, [but] it calls for collaboration between government, industry and key stakeholders”.