India-Africa ICT Expo 2020 concludes

New Delhi, Dec 2 (UNI) With an aim to further strengthen the India-Africa cooperation in the new geo-political world, the two-day India-Africa Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Expo 2020 concluded on Wednesday.

Former IAS officer and Chairperson of Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) Shyamal Ghosh in his concluding remarks said that the Indian government is strongly committed to supporting these India-Africa joint events.

India is a strong player in the ICT sector and this has been a very fruitful event with a large number of participants and several B2B meetings. It has also been a platform for the convergence between two tech savvy nations – India and Rwanda,” Mr Ghosh said.

He added that both the countries shared a culture of discipline which helped in achieving the goals of a successful digital economy. “Several MoUs have been signed between India and Rwanda and because of a strong transparent and democratic foundation in India, the process of technology transfer is very smooth. Various ongoing government to government initiatives in the areas of healthcare, education and other social sectors will be of mutual benefit to both the countries,” Mr Ghosh said.

On day one of the event Minister of State for communications, Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre exhorted Africa to join hands with India to work towards inclusive growth and technological progress. He highlighted the strong points of Indian communications technology, innovation and economy and said that India is the place for the world to find the best sustainable option for its technological needs as the country is home to an young population which is adept at conquering technological challenges.

The day two of the Expo started with an important session on Transforming to a Digital Economy, Experience and Opportunities for Co-operation.

Digital India Foundation Head and Co-Founder Arvind Gupta stressed on the success of the bottom up approach of the Indian government in building the digital ecosystem. “In keeping the bottom of the pyramid in focus, access and affordability of the internet for every citizen is one of the pillars of government policy. Digital literacy and affordability of devices along with public digital infrastructure to facilitate payments, KYC etc is available to every citizen, start-up and government official. The other pillar of digital policy is availability of payments infrastructure, banking and financial inclusion at the level of every household,” Mr Gupta said.

The highlights of the discussion were how India & Africa have transformed to a digital economy that played a key role during and post COVID; strengthening Indo-African cooperation in the new geo-political world; how were networks impacted and how did different operators react and how Covid-19 has impacted business priorities and 5G roll-out.

It was a holistic approach that had helped the Indian government to reach the most remote villages in the country through Bharatnet, the world’s largest rural fibre optic broadband network project providing connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across India, felt Sanjeev Kakkar, president VNL. He also felt that the Make in India initiative was helping to create a best in class and sustainable solution. Sanjay Nayak, CEO & MD, Tejas Networks, India, highlighted that the Covid19 pandemic was helping to accelerate the pace of digitalisation around the world and there was no going back. “This is a permanent change and the more investments in high capacity networks are here for good,” he said.

The Indian government continues its commitment for the development of ICT Sector in Africa with the 6th Edition of the Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2020 organised virtually.

Africa is among the fastest growing markets worldwide, improving macro-economic indicators, conducive business environment, larger, younger and more affluent population, rising middle class – all are strong indicators of not only a source of capital but also of job creation, skills development, technology transfer, infrastructure development, responsible governance and most of all – sustained growth that eventually will lead to transformation of African economies.

India and Africa are set to forge closer cooperation in a determined effort to accelerate growth in Information and Communications Technology with a view to boost economies through greater penetration and use of advanced technologies and services. The India Africa ICT Expo hosted virtually by the government of India emphasized the relationship and commitment between India and African countries.

IT and Telecom form the backbone for the growth of any country and Africa has been one of the fastest growing markets worldwide in ICT adoption and communication technology. Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2020 is a platform to build synergy among India & African countries to showcase innovative & diversified products & services and to bring together thought- leaders across the entire ICT value chain to discuss solutions to regulatory and business.

With the theme “Digital Transformation: Key to sustaining growth post Covid-19”, the speakers stressed that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are an integral part of the modern world and the emerging new order, omnipresent and constantly transforming lifestyles. ICT enables real-time, borderless communication and almost unlimited access to a range of essential to critical products and services. ICT and its manifestations are all encompassing, with a tremendous impact on every sphere of our daily life such as telemedicine, disaster preparedness & mitigation, online banking, mobile data services, Internet of Things (IoT), Voice over Internet (VoIP), data for every sector, education and knowledge sharing, and weather data for agriculture to renewable energy needs, monitoring and evaluating and adjusting for environment & climate change, to mention a few.


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