ICT panacea to economic backwardness, says Huawei

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Chinese original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Huawei Technologies, said the information communications technology (ICT) sector has the transformative power to boost sustainable socio-economic development, adding that governments have a vital role to play in forming a favorable environment for the dynamic and healthy development of the industry.

In a position paper launched at the just concluded International telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World 2018 in Durban, South Africa, the firm urged more investments to boost infrastructure.

In the position paper titled: “Telco: Investment, Innovation and Competition in ICT Infrastructure”, Huawei said  the development trends of ICT as observed around the globe and their potential social economic development spurred by ICT, after conducting a regression analysis based on a data set of 125 countries for the period 2010 to 2016. It concludes that every 16-20 per cent increase in ICT investment brings one per cent growth in gross domestic product (GDP), stressing that in order to fully unleash the potential of ICT in promoting economic growth and societal well-being, governments have a critical role to play in terms of supporting investment in ICT infrastructure, encouraging ICT innovation, and in guiding and regulating ICT competition.

At the ceremony, Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General, said government should make ICT policy not just sectoral but national. The development of ICT and relevant infrastructure cannot be realised by solely relying on participants in the ICT ecosystem. Instead, it requires support and guidance from governments.

He said: “Our objectives are clear: connecting the unconnected, providing people with more advanced technologies, developing new applications, and facilitating other ecosystems. And to succeed in this endeavor, we need more innovative public-private partnerships.”

Also speaking, Chief Content Coordinator of ITU Broadband Commission for Digital Development, Phillippa Biggs,  said policies for an enabling environment are a must for broadband, including enabling policies and regulation to help co-investment of cross-country interconnection, Universal Service Fund (USF) for broadband roll-out and promotion of utility infrastructure synergies.

Vice President of Huawei Global Government Affairs Department, Zhou Mingcheng,  said ICT has become a fundamental feature of modern society, and fast and healthy development of ICT industry requires supports and guidance from governments in stimulating investment in ICT infrastructure, encouraging ICT innovation and regulating competitions.


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