Isabel dos Santos: “Africa must invest in Energy to have 5G”

Isabel dos Santos appealed for the need of a strong investment in the Energy sector in Africa, so that the 5G network is a reality on the continent. "Telecom operators are eager to deploy the 5G network, but that requires a strong investment in Energy, just as it happened in Telecommunications."

The businesswoman was speaking as Unitel's representative at AfricaCom 2019, one of Africa's largest Technology and Telecommunications conferences, in Cape Town. “I would like to see in the Energy sector the same thing that happened in the Telecommunications sector: a big investment from the private sector.” And she added: “Today we are 1.2 billion people in Africa, by 2050 we will be 2.4 billion - more than in China. The investment required in infrastructure is huge”.

Isabel dos Santos said that Unitel, the largest mobile operator in Angola, has invested for the past 20 years over US $ 2.2 billion in fiber optic cables, through private money. “Today we have 14,000 km of optical fiber, we promote the expansion of the internet nationwide with one of the most modern telecommunications networks in Africa. We bring people together, we bring companies together, we support business and we see our country grow, develop and compete internationally”, she said. “It is important that companies and governments work together. If African governments create business models, it will stimulate positive investment environments.”

“Africa has to build a big e-commerce platform, which will bring great opportunities. There are fewer barriers, costs go down and we will be able to communicate our product better and to a much larger audience.” While highlighting the value of e-commerce, the businesswoman also said that “the next big companies in Africa will be largely driven by digital economy and e-commerce”.

Talking about digital development, Isabel dos Santos stressed that “there needs to be infrastructure, markets and financial services that support it”.


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