Gadgets

6 ways connectivity can change Africa for the better

#Africa

As we edge closer to Industry 4.0, nowhere in the world will you find the same pace or scale of change as here in Africa.

Today, 850 million people across Africa and the Middle East are connected to mobile broadband. In just five years’ time, this number will almost double, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. The impact of this will be far reaching.

It will also accelerate an exponential demand for data. By 2024, mobile data traffic in the region will rise by up to a third year-on-year – by far the highest growth rate worldwide according to the Ericsson Mobility Report.

Africa isn’t just playing catch up. There is a real buzz here about the extent to which connectivity can impact the continent’s sustainability efforts.

The development of LTE and 5G digital infrastructure is an integral part of Africa’s growing economy and has proved to be an essential driver of an inclusive information society that integrates digitization in all critical aspects of life, such as education, transport, health, energy and even homeland security.

All of this, of course, carries significant potential to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.


Connectivity is a critical enabler of social and economic change. Its dynamism constantly offers us new ways to overcome both global and regional development challenges. If leveraged for good, the introduction of 5G and expansion of LTE networks across Africa can accelerate this process exponentially.

As we continue toward a more urbanized world and the impacts of climate change grow progressively dire, the need for sustainable technologies which support the SDGs will become truly paramount. It’s still early, but the use cases which we have been deploying across the continent are already delivering on their potential.

Below, let me take you on a short tour of some of the ways we’re connecting Africa for the better.

  1. Mixed Reality for Urban Design (SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities)

    Together with UN-Habitat, we are explored visualization technologies that have the potential to revolutionize how we approach urban design. This new visually realistic blending of reality with virtual imagination can create a more intuitive space for planners, architects, residents and other stakeholders to viscerally experience and re-imagine future environments. Architectural sketches and designs can be made more legible and accessible, thus pulling users into the process of design and strengthening the long-term viability and buy-in of urban projects.

    This innovation was piloted by UN-Habitat and Ericsson in Johannesburg, South Africa. Find out more by reading our joint publication ‘’Mixed reality for public participation in urban and public space design: Towards a new way of crowdsourcing new inclusive smart cities’’ which we recently launched at the UN-Habitat Assembly in Kenya.
  2. Innovative approach to mitigate and adapt to climate change (SDG 13: Climate action)

    Detailed rainfall patterns with high resolution are difficult to monitor with existing technologies (radar, satellite and gauges) and lack of weather monitoring infrastructure in many emerging markets.
    Currently being piloted in Rwanda, the Ericsson Weather Data initiative is a new innovative solution which helps in measurement of rainfall in real time utilizing signal disturbances in microwave links used as backhaul in cellular networks.

    Deployed in partnership with the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), the technology uses microwave links and works with existing rainfall measurement technologies to enable vastly greater accuracy in real-time rain measurement, and therefore provide more detailed rain modelling information. This results in detailed and cost efficient rainfall and flood predictions utilizing existing telecom infrastructure. Use cases include climate mitigation efforts; flood prevention in sewage and stormwater systems in cities, agriculture, transport solutions, tourism, insurance weather agencies and water utilities, as well as malaria and dengue prevention in tropical areas.

    According to Ericsson research, ICT solutions could help to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 15% by 2030, amounting to around ten gigatonnes of CO2e—more than the current carbon footprint of the EU and US combined. Examples of areas where the savings can be enabled by ICT solutions are : transportation, energy, industries and agriculture.
  3. Use of mobile financial services to reduce inequalities (SDG 10: Reduced inequalities)The freedom to send, spend and receive money with a mobile phone is quickly becoming an essential part of life for billions of people. It is a freedom which also impacts accessibility to energy, health, education and employment opportunities.In Africa today, more than half of consumers use mobile money services through an agent, and some 20% use mobile money themselves on a mobile phone. However, the unbanked are the ones who are least involved in the formal financial system, due to factors such as distance to banks, education, and the inability to authenticate their identity, according to data from Ericsson ConsumerLab.The Ericsson Converged Wallet m-commerce solution is a new innovation which contributes to a more open, easy and accessible mobile money network in Africa. Together with our customer MTN, we will continue to deploy new products and provide Managed Services for Mobile Money services in 13 countries across Africa by 2024.
  4. ICT in Education and our Connect to Learn initiative (SDG 4: Quality education)Since its inception in Africa in 2010, the Connect to Learn program has been leveraging the power of mobility, broadband and cloud solutions to enhance the quality and access to teaching and learning resources in a safe, cost effective, and user-friendly way.We have brought technology tools, digital learning resources and new interactive forms of teaching pedagogies to schools and community learning centers in 12 sub-Saharan African countries. This includes schools in the Millennium Villages of 8 countries from 2010 to 2015, namely Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia. We have also invested in other ICT in school projects in 3 countries, namely Djibouti (2012), Burkina Faso (2014) and South Africa (2017). More than 30,000 students have been positively impacted by these.
  5. Role of technology in peacebuilding with youth (SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions)Through an initiative which provides ICT equipment, training and connectivity to young victims of conflict in South Sudan and Northern Uganda, we are leveraging technology to create positive, sustainable change in the region. Together with the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI), and  some of our  mobile  network operator customers, we have already impacted  more than 31000 young people (direct and indirect beneficiaries) and have 12  local computer-equipped Community Learning Centers (CLCs) running in Africa.
  6. Public Private Partnerships to Connect the Unconnected (SDG 4: Quality education, SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure, SDG 10: Reduced inequalities, SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals)We joined the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) as a technology partner in 2007 and committed to support the MVP along with our partners by bringing voice and internet communications to approximately 500,000 people living in the village clusters, with the intention of improving social and economic conditions.The integration of ICT quickly came to play a critical role in the project. As basic interventions in the areas of health, education, agriculture and entrepreneurship began to achieve success, ICT helped to take the fight against poverty a step further by empowering individuals and institutions with the ability to communicate, and to access and share vital information. Ericsson’s long-term engagement in the MVP demonstrates the importance of public-private partnerships and how they can help to spread the impact of mobile broadband in a way that enables the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.Read more about our education related insights from this project in our ten-year anniversary publication: ‘Technology Assisted Education: Connect to Learn multi-year, multi-country experiences.

Next steps to innovate for sustainable development in Africa

As we look ahead, it’s clear that Africa shows significant promise by way of economic, technological and infrastructural growth over the coming years. Yet, there are still many challenges we must overcome if we are to deliver real sustainable change for all. While there are parts of the continent on the cusp of 5G rollout, there remains other parts where 3G and 4G are still in infancy.

More than just a business opportunity, digitalization is fundamental to achieving all 17 of the SDGs and a powerful way to make a positive impact on society. To truly leverage the full potential which this offers, it’s important we reach out to all stakeholders across government, and public and private enterprise. This is how we make positive, sustainable impact in areas such as climate change, education, human rights and humanitarian response.

Read the Ericsson sustainability pages to find out more about our activities to connect change.

Find out how IoT can be deployed to support sustainability efforts in the WEF’s sustainable IoT report.

Mikael Bäck

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

Agriculture Business Featured Finance News Society Sponsored Technology Telecoms

USSD LAUNCH: NIGERIA’S NO. 1 AGRITECH COMPANY EXPANDS ACCESS TO QUALITY FARM INPUTS.

post-image

 

Information technology is a driver of any sector and boosts productivity; agriculture inclusive. In a bid to ensure that food production and security are improved, AFRIMASH Company Limited, an indigenous agriculture eCommerce platform has introduced a ground-breaking USSD technology and Agent Network system for farmers to have access to farm inputs at the click of a button. The Company has been described as innovative and the first of its kind in the country by industry watchers and stakeholders. Afrimash is positioned to improve the way farmers are engaged in the rural parts of the country using these two technologies.

Our USSD code, *2282*2#, and Agent Network System are unique in the Agri-tech ecosystem and are posed as solutions to the challenges farmers face in rural communities. Speaking to the media on the importance of the newly introduced USSD technology, Ayoade Ahmed Oyedotun, the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Afrimash…

Read More
Business Events Investments News Society Technology Trends

FINTRAK BRINGS INNOVATIVE TECH SOLUTIONS TO THE RWANDA FINANCIAL ECOSYSTEM

post-image

 

 

 

Fintrak Software Limited, an indigenous financial technology firm based in Lagos with an international footprint in various African country recently held banking and financial industry of Rwanda in awe with the reintroduction of their solution known as ENTERPRISE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SOLUTION. A software application that is designed for businesses to boost productivity and reduce human error in all the areas of their enterprise. The Fintech also presented their credit management solution known as CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOLUTION, the event was held at the KIGALI MARRIOT HOTEL, in the Rwandan capital City.

Speaking to the Rwanda financial ecosystem, the company described the Credit management solution as a software that was designed to help banks meet the need to identify, measure, monitor and control credit risk as well as to determine that they hold adequate capital against these risks and that they are adequately compensated for risks incurred. The Credit Risk 360 solution…

Read More
Announcements Business Finance Gadgets Technology Technology Trends Trends

Binance Announces Global Advisory Board

post-image

Binance (www.Binance.com), the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is pleased to announce the creation of its new Global Advisory Board (GAB), comprised of distinguished experts in public policy, government, finance, economics, and corporate governance.

 

The Global Advisory Board, chaired by former US Senator and Ambassador to China, Max Baucus, recently convened in Paris, France. The board’s purpose is to advise Binance on some of the most complex regulatory, political, and social issues the entire crypto industry faces as it grows and evolves at a fast pace.

“For the past five years, Binance has been at the forefront of pioneering the exciting new world of crypto, blockchain, and Web3,” said Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao. “In that time, we’ve tackled complex issues no one even knew existed. We’ve maintained our focus throughout on delivering compliance solutions that protect the interests of crypto users, while keeping…

Read More
Business Fashion Society Sponsored Tourism Travels Trends

Africana X plosion – From Nigeria to the World; Africana set standards for success in Africa

post-image

The merry sound of clinking glasses, hearty laughter and afrobeats music permeated the cool September evening at Rue Marconi Zone 4, a posh business district in the Ivorien port city of Abidjan. The motley crowd of extremely well and colourfully dressed individuals gathered at the brilliantly lit venue were celebrating the grand opening of an Africana X (https://shopAfricana.co) flagship store – the first of its kind outside of Nigeria.

VIDEO

 

By establishing this new store in Abidjan, a city that widely reflects the culture of French speaking West Africa, the Africana (https://bit.ly/3R7Wv8m) brand made significant statement of intent – that they are taking the lead in the movement to propagate African fashion on a global scale.

Perhaps, this explains…

Read More
Announcements Business Education Events Featured Investments News Society Tourism Travels Trends

THINK CANADA FAIR BRINGS INTERNATIONAL STUDY EXPOSURE TO ALL NIGERIANS IN THEIR FORTHCOMING EVENT

post-image

 

 

The need for people to have international exposure in today’s highly competitive workplace becomes important and imminent. This has made a lot of Nigerians to think of schooling in reputable international universities that will avail them the great opportunities of modern workplace and globalized world. In line with this narrative, Think Canada Fair is bringing to Nigerians that are willing to utilize the opportunities of schooling in Canada a platform with Canada 2023 at Nigeria’s Biggest Study Fair this October.

The Think Canada Fair is bringing together an array of top Canadian Universities, alongside their representatives, to the biggest study fair in Nigeria. Happening across 3 major cities in Nigeria, the annual event is scheduled to be held in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt on October: 14th, 15th, 18th and 20th 2022 respectively.

Speaking to the media in a press conference, the Marketing Manager, Femi Olatunji said, “we are looking forward…

Read More
Business Events Health Interviews News Opinion Society

MOPPET BABY FORMULA:AFTER ONE YEAR IN BUSINESS NIGERIANS ARE HAPPY WITH THE PRODUCT!!! 

post-image

 

Baby formula has been expensive and one of the biggest fear that new parents have. In short in Nigeria they will tell you that one should use protection because the cost of NAN and other cereal is expensive. Having seen and noticed the plight of Nigerian in terms of feeding their infants with good foods that are created specifically for the Nigerian infants. Roberta Edu, a serial businesswoman and a core IT expert established Moppet to cater for these sets of Nigerians.

Just after a year of doing business. A business that came up during the COVID 19 lock down when shops where closed and there is need to feed kids. Being a mother Roberta researched on the best way to feed her lovely child when the shops and malls are closed. She came up with Moppet. A business born out of idea and COVID 19 lock down.

Speaking on the…

Read More
Business Investments News Security Society Technology Technology Trends

Ukheshe and Digital PayGo drive Zambian business growth through the SME in-a-box Merchant Solution

post-image

Ukheshe’s SME in-a-box solution is making tangible changes to the lives of millions in Zambia through a partnership with Digital PayGo, improving financial inclusion and enhancing business dealings for entrepreneurs.

Digital PayGo, a local Zambian fintech driving a mobile-first approach, enhancing the digital payment space for SMEs, is the first partner to utilise Ukheshe’s SME in-a-box solution to its fullest extent and provides a range of virtual financial services to its customers.

“We’re so proud to be the technology partner enabling Digital PayGo in their partnership with Zambian bank Zanaco and Mastercard to implement this solution,” says Mark Dankworth, President of Business Development in Africa at Ukheshe.

“In line with Mastercard’s vision of enabling 50 million SMEs by 2025, the relationship between Ukheshe and Digital PayGo was a natural fit, given our shared…

Read More
Business Society Technology

NITDA INTENSIFIES COMMITMENT TO CREATE A DIGITALLY FORMIDABLE FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE

post-image

NITDA INTENSIFIES COMMITMENT TO CREATE A DIGITALLY FORMIDABLE FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has continued to display its commitment to the sustainability of a digitally transformed Nigeria by engaging the workforce of various Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) in capacity development programmes to create a digitally formidable federal public service towards the realization of a digital Nigeria.

This was revealed at the closing ceremony of a capacity-building programme organised by NITDA for 100 participants from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Military and Paramilitary agencies who were trained on Digital Literacy and Skills, Cybersecurity Essentials and Cloud Computing.

Giving his closing remark at the event, the NITDA Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE expressed his pleasure at the participants for their active participation and contribution to class activities throughout the programme while urging them to be good ambassadors of the knowledge gained in their various organisations.

The DG who…

Read More