Exploring Africa’s Future: Angela Wamola’s Insights on Political Will, AI, and Outlook for MWC Kigali 2024

Angela Wamola emphasizes the critical need for affordable digital access and the transformative impact of digital inclusion on Africa’s economic and technological advancement.

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024, Angela Wamola, the head of Sub-Saharan Africa at GSMA, provided a comprehensive overview of the advancements and challenges in Africa’s mobile sector. 

Wamola emphasized the significance of internet connectivity as a cornerstone for digital inclusion in Africa. She highlighted the disparity in connectivity, noting that a significant portion of the population remains offline, not due to a lack of infrastructure, but due to the unaffordability and inaccessibility of digital devices and data. The need to make digital tools and internet access more affordable and relevant to the African populace was a key point in her discussion, as this would enhance digital literacy and provide broader access to valuable online resources and services.

Wamola underscored the necessity for a concerted effort across African nations to foster a harmonized digital environment, which would, in turn, stimulate economic growth and innovation.

We as a GSMA and our industry agreed that we were going to look at how we can collaborate in order to move the needle much faster, bringing our solutions together, looking at what solutions can attract financing, green financing, and other partners to come together to help us make sure that these approaches and innovative ways of doing green financing and energy solutions are bankable and scalable and replicable across the continent.

Angela Wamola, the head of Sub-Saharan Africa at GSMA

In her call for greater political will, Wamola highlighted the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement and the digital trade protocol as frameworks that could unify and bolster Africa’s digital strategy. She advocated for policies that would encourage the digitalization of various economic sectors, thereby creating a more robust and interconnected African market.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was another focal point of Wamola’s discourse. She posited that AI has the potential to transform various facets of African societies by streamlining processes, enhancing efficiency, and offering new solutions to longstanding challenges. The adoption and integration of AI, she argued, could accelerate Africa’s digital transformation and economic development.

Looking ahead, Wamola pointed to the upcoming MWC event in Kigali as a significant opportunity for stakeholders across Africa to converge and deliberate on the future of technology in the continent. The event is expected to be a platform for discussing how emerging technologies, particularly 5G and AI, can be harnessed to drive further advancements in Africa’s digital landscape.

In conclusion, Angela Wamola’s insights at MWC 2024 painted a picture of a continent at the cusp of a digital revolution, poised to leverage technology to foster economic growth, enhance various sectors, and achieve greater digital inclusion. The discussions and outcomes of such forums are crucial in shaping the trajectory of Africa’s digital future.

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