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Southern Africa Governments Aiming to Create 3.2 Million Jobs Through Broadband

by Elly Okutoyi
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MDG-Broadband-in-Africa---006Several sub-Saharan countries have come together to agree on common ways through which they can create an additional 3.2 million jobs by 2020, through accelerated roll out of mobile broadband.

This was through a joint meeting of several government heads including ministers from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, where they agreed on ways to promote development through digital economies.

In the meeting, the Ministers agreed to create a Joint Task Force strengthening regional cooperation to support investment in mobile.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Nonofo E. Molefhi, Minister of Transport and Communication for Botswana said:  “The provision of universal broadband access is vital in driving economic growth and improving the quality of life in Botswana and across Southern Africa. With greater coordination between regional governments and between the public and private sectors, mobile broadband can play a critical role in closing the digital divide.”

The governments are looking to increase mobile ecosystem’s contribution to GDP across sub-Saharan Africa to 8.2 percent by 2020 from the current 6.3 percent contribution.

Tom Phillips, Chief Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer, GSMA, congratulated the efforts of the Southern African countries saying:  “Today’s meeting has created a solid foundation for further cooperation between the public and private sectors. The meeting demonstrated the close alignment of all parties regarding the goal of providing universal access to broadband services.”

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