from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – PROMINENT African businesswoman, Isabel dos Santos, has called on stakeholders to increase investments in the energy sector and enhance the move to fifth generation technology (5G) networks.
Dos Santos, ranked the continent’s richest woman, was speaking at the just-ended AfricaCom conference in Cape Town, South Africa, where she represented Unitel, the largest mobile operator in Angola.
“Telecom operators are eager to deploy the 5G network but that requires a strong investment in energy, just as it happened in telecommunications,” she told delegates.
“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,” dos Santos said.
She pointed out Africa’s population was projected to double to 2,4 billion by 2050, which would be more than China’s.
“The investment required in infrastructure is huge,” dos Santos said.
She disclosed more than US$2,2 billion worth of investment in fibre optic cables, through private money had been poured over the past 20 years.
Unitel, of which dos Santos is a board member, has 14 000 km of optical fibre and promotes 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 (Angola) grow, develop and compete internationally,” dos Santos said.
She called on governments and the private sector to collaborate.
“If African governments create business models, it will stimulate positive investment environments.”
Dos Santos also encouraged investments in building a successful e-commerce platform.
“The next big companies in Africa will be largely driven by digital economy and e-commerce. There needs to be infrastructure, markets and financial services that support it,” the businesswoman said.
– CAJ News