Africa increasingly online
Never before have so many people in Africa had access to the internet. By the end of 2018, there will be almost 500 million of us. The continent is growing. One sign of this is the increasing democratisation of access to the internet. Last year alone, the number of internet users in Africa grew by 20%. In contrast, user numbers in Asia only rose by 5% and in the Americas by a mere 3%.
This accelerated growth does show we have a lot more to do, but it also means we are finally on the right path. New technologies offer the continent yet another way of asserting itself and making its mark in the world. A way of ensuring Africa’s voice is ever stronger and better heard. Only if people and companies have easy access to information, can they plan and grow to their full potential and achieve all their objectives.
Sharing information is also a way of changing our African consciousness. It will make the vision of a borderless continent so much more achievable. The vast potential that has always been there can now be properly tapped. More information also means more democracy and more potential for economic and social growth.
Over the last year, Angola has grown 10% and has shown that it is ready to take on the mantle of national and regional change. Ever since 2001, when Unitel first came into being, I’ve had the opportunity to be a close witness to this change.
Today, Unitel runs one of the continent’s most modern 4G-based telecommunications networks. We are committed to expanding the network and increase internet access speeds. Broadly speaking, the same thing is happening right across the continent.
This is good news for all Africans. These days, we cannot talk about inclusion without talking about the information society. To be full citizens of a world in constant change, we need to ensure that information is easily accessible to all, because it is this information that drives that change. The younger generations know this only too well. The next step will be to make sure that no one is excluded and that everyone has affordable high-speed access to the internet, whenever they need it. This is my vision – an inclusive, technologically advanced Africa that is well positioned to take on the future. An Africa that is able to give its people and its businesses the indispensable tools for their growth.