News: To Help Build Africa’s Digital Capacity, 2 African based technology firms form partnership

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Smart Africa an African based digital alliance and a Ghanaian technology company, Afriwave Telecom Ghana Limited have formed a partnership to advance Africa’s digital transformation.

The collaboration is based on the One Africa Network and Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) initiative, the Data Center and Cloud Project and the Intra-Africa Connectivity project.

According to www.businessghana.com, the partnership will also see Smart Africa and Afriwave Telecom providing training for decision makers across Africa through the Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA) vehicle.

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Smart Africa is an alliance of 32 African countries, international organisations and global private sector players with the responsibility of defining Africa’s digital agenda. It was borne out of an innovative commitment by African Heads of State to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent and usher Africa into the knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and the use of ICTs.

With a vision to create a single digital market in Africa by 2030, the Smart Africa Alliance brings together Heads of State who seek to accelerate the digitalisation of the continent and create a common market. Afriwave Telecom on the other hand, provides telecommunications solutions in Ghana and beyond as the first and the only licensed Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) Operator in Ghana.

Currently, it provides national telecommunications interconnect clearinghouse services to four of the main licensed mobile network operators in Ghana and also provides international telecommunications interconnect clearinghouse services to International Wholesale Carriers who route international telecom traffic into Ghana.

Benefits of partnership

Announcing the partnership via a virtual meeting, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Smart Africa Secretariat, Mr Lacina Koné, said the collaboration intended to use African skills to advance Africa’s capacity and digital transformation.

He said with the numbers and opportunities that abounded in Africa, collaboration was necessary to provide the capacity and technical knowhow to give the leverage for the desired accelerated development in the digital space.

“It is important that we keep Africa’s data within the borders of Africa. In order to achieve that, we must build the capacity to manage and store data on the continent,” Mr Koné stressed.

Signing on behalf of Afriwave Telecom, the Deputy CEO, Mr Francis Poku, said the operations of ICH had brought several benefits to the Ghana telecom sector.

He mentioned some of the benefits as improving a billing and illing and mediation services, integrating other sectors of the economy into the telecom ecosystem which had helped enhance transaction speed and therefore, stimulated economic growth.

Also, the ICH had provided simple, cost-effective, and reliable points of interconnection (POIs) and routing and reconciling of interconnect traffic between service providers.

He said the company, was therefore, ready to collaborate with other stakeholders with similar ambitions and objectives, as it sought to extend its services to other parts of Africa and help them benefit from the ICH.

“We have often wondered when traffic within Africa will be routed within the borders of the continent.

“The establishment of intra-African cross-border links and interconnections will create an enabling environment aimed towards achieving the ultimate objective of keeping all African traffic within Africa,” Mr Poku said.

The ICH

The licensed Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) services provide a simple, cost-effective and reliable point of interconnection and interconnection links leading to a reduction in interconnect OPEX and CAPEX.

It also provides an efficient handling of new and traditional interconnect requirements; provides a point of interconnection and reduces the entry barrier to other service providers into the telecom interconnect ecosystem; provides independent verification and reconciliation of interconnect billing records to enhance quick clearing and settlements among connecting entities.

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