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  1. 1. THE 5TH ANNUAL CONNECTING RURAL COMMUNITIES africa A CTO FORUM 2010 EVENT REPORT 17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010 ACCRA, GHANAHosted by Organised by COMMONWEALTH TELECOMMUNICATIONS MINISTRY OF NATIONAL GHANA INVESTMENT FUND ORGANISATIONCOMMUNICATIONS COMMUNICATIONS FOR ELECTRONIC GHANA AUTHORITY, GHANA COMMUNICATIONS http://www.events.cto.int/crcAfrica2010Diamond Sponsor Platinum Sponsor Silver Sponsors Bronze Sponsors SEAMLESS Closer, by far A Proud Sponsor GilatAssociate Sponsors Exhibitors telecom Connecting More Networks... ...Delegate Badge Sponsor Internet Sponsor Supporting OrganisationsPutting in place the right systems for developmentMedia Partners balancing act www.cto.int
  2. 2. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010EVENT REPORT17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA THE 5TH ANNUAL CONNECTING RURAL COMMUNITIES africa A CTO FORUM 2010 Connecting rural Africa on a cost-effective, sustainable and profitable basis through Public-Private-Peoples’ Partnerships This post conference report provides a summary of the core ideas and concepts that were discussed, questioned, debated and concluded at the CRC Africa 2010 Forum. It provides an insight into the stimulating and productive informative presentations, and theme panel discussions over a three that focused on ICT and rural communities.2 c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010
  3. 3. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010 EVENT REPORT 17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 Overview 4 2 Conference Summary 6 2.1 Day One August 17th 2010 6 2.1.1 Formal Opening 6 2.1.2 Ministerial Panel Discussions 8 2.1.3 Regulatory Panel Discussions 11 2.2. Day Two: August 18th, 2010 15 2.2.1 Infrastructure Development & Funding 15 2.2.2 Panel Discussion – interactive session 18 2.2.3 Operator’s Panel 20 2.3 Day Two - August 18th, 2010 22 (Afternoon Session) 2.3.1 Panel Discussion 22 2.4 Day Three - August 19th, 2010 (Morning Session) 23 2.4.1 Equipment, Technology & Applications 23 2.5 Day Three: August 19th, 2010 25 (Afternoon Session) 2.5.1 Public-Private-Partnerships 25 for Rural Connectivity 2.5.2 Panel Discussion and Summaries 27 3 Conference Closure 28 4 The Conference in photos 29 5 Acronyms 30c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010 3
  4. 4. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010EVENT REPORT17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA1 OVERVIEWThe lack of affordable access to relevant information and These various sessions helped to encourage comparative andknowledge services among the rural poor has lately creative approaches; collaborative, interdisciplinary andbeen a concern to development experts. Even though access improvisatory.to information is essential, and has the ability toempower poor communities, enhance capacity, and link The conference was hosted by Ghana’s Ministry ofdepartments involved in poverty reduction, this access Communications (MOC), its National Communicationshas been limited in reality and indeed few empirical studies Authority (NCA) and the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronicexist which assess the impact of investments aimed Communications (GIFEC).at providing this much needed access to information. Importantconstraints fall under the following headings; This post conference report provides a summary of the corepolicy and regulatory, ICT infrastructure in the rural areas- ideas and concepts that were discussed, questioned, debatedwith the high costs associated with last mile connectivity in and concluded at the event and hopefully, a reflection of themind- unreliable or absence of power, trade-offs by stimulating and productive 3 days.governments, high levels of illiteracy and also, rural povertyreduction strategy obstacles. There were 35 formal panel presentations, and theme-based panel discussions which offered opportunities for the audienceIn an effort to explore new creative paradigms for thinking to hear well reasoned arguments and discussions aboutabout minimising these obstacles, the CTO organised its pertinent topics as seen from a variety of viewpoints with the5th Annual Connecting Rural Communities Africa conference maximum interactive sessions intended to enhance the skillsin Accra, Ghana from Tuesday August 17th - Thursday August and broaden the perspective of the attendees.19th 2010. The conference theme was based on connectingrural Africa on a cost-effective, sustainable and profitable An exhibition of ICT products in areas such as mobilebasis through Public-Private-People’s Partnerships. telephony, alternative energy sources, and ICTThe 3-day event included a keynote speech and engaging infrastructure development by both local and foreign companiesand varied discussions by experts in numerous fields were on display during the conference. The conference wasshowcasing supported by sponsors who have monumental influence andissues in relation to Rural Connectivity. Panel discussions of are actively pursuing new opportunities regarding ruralsix spotlighted areas covered Policy making and Regulation, connectivity.Infrastructure Development and Funding; Equipment,Technology and Applications, and Operations - as well as acritical panel discussion of Public-Private-Peoples’Partnerships.4 c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010
  5. 5. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010 EVENT REPORT 17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA1 OVERVIEWThe following key points emerged from the proceedings;• Good leadership, active regulatory authorities and self • All are teaming to bring a variety of innovative programs sustainable home-grown policies have to be encouraged to rural areas that provide services such as telephony, in order to realize the rural connectivity goal distance education, and access to the internet, however, power constraints have been the bane of achieving rural• African countries, it turns out, have similar ICT challenges connectivity in most African countries. Delegates confirmed of unreliable power and local content, of insufficient that for rural connectivity to be successful, alternative or funding, ad hoc ICT initiatives resulting in the lack of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and battery integration (e-governance has not been fully achieved in power are reliable as access solutions for the Wireless most of these countries) and an absence of reliable market statistics on ICT deployment which does not give a true picture of the digital divide • The use of mobile telephony, as an ICT tool to enhance information sharing, the conference learned, has opened• Additionally, there are other obstacles such as lack of new doors to rural connectivity and Public-Private-Peoples’ common standards and shared experiences which lead to Partnerships. It was evident from the presentations that resistance to regional integration surprisingly, not due to the continued success of mobile telephony in rural areas the number of languages, but to different traditional depends on policymakers and stakeholders- that methodologies encouraging appropriate legislation and policies should enable rural enterprises to develop business models that• On Universal Services & Access Funding (USAF), the exploit mobile telephony tailoring applications specifically common perception is that funds administered by to address the needs of rural communities independent regulators and agencies are less likely to be influenced by • Infrastructure development does not stop at satellites only, it was intimated. The expansion of cable presents• Government or political interest. Universal access programs new opportunities in that satellite & submarine cable are typically promote rural access to information through complementary technologies that could leverage versatility telecommunications networks and have to be encouraged & viability of satellite services• Co-location was a passionate topic, and as a solution to • In relation to an enabling environment for broadband cost effective infrastructure-sharing was well usage, it emerged that Plans executed with International appreciated by most delegates, even though a few were metrics enable global competitiveness. Broadband sceptical of the idea since there are solutions for co- spectrum allocation must be also seen to be ‘clear, existence. It was obvious from majority opinions, that in consistent, comprehensive.’ order to grow the sector, smaller operators will benefit from this initiative as it would save cost of operation and • Sharing of deployed WAN to the rural areas do not quicken expansion in terms of network coverage. necessarily require building a new network. Old networks can be extended to rural areas Indeed, if properly tailored, infrastructure-sharing will benefit operators as funds used for building cell sites and • In order to boost the 4 Ps, Public-Private-Peoples’ towers would be channelled towards expansion and Partnerships’, the conference recognised there should rendering quality services to subscribers. Also, acting in be an enabling policy/regulatory frameworks, offer of the best interest of rural connectivity, it was generally funding through Universal Service and Access Fund agreed that if market levels are used to determine Agencies, and an aggregate public sector demand for infrastructure sharing, connecting to rural areas would commercial rollout. delay undulyICT stakeholders comprising Ministers, regulators, telecom operators and leading ICT global brands representingmore than 20 countries throughout the world took part, so thank you to everyone who came along and made it sucha success.c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010 5
  6. 6. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010EVENT REPORT17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA2 CONFERENCE SUMMARY2.1 DAY ONE AUGUST 17TH 20102.1.1 Formal OpeningMr. Marcel Belingue, Senior Manager of Programmes at the Therefore, with African countries now taking a more democraticCTO warmly welcomed delegates, who he encouraged to turn and with an increase in exports, there is a need for theseconcentrate on key issues, reiterating the hope that the countries to harness the potential for ICT development in theirorganization’s efforts through its theme Connecting Rural development strategies in order to drive forward their economies.Communities (CRC) which has brought them to Accra, would As a positive step forward, he announced on behalf of thelead to visionary, thought provoking and thoughtful contributions. CTO, the Commonwealth Telecommunications InvestmentHe kindly introduced the Chairman for the Opening ceremony Fund which has been set up to raise seed capital to championand asked for prayers to be said. The Chief Director of Ghana’s the drive towards increased broadband services to ruralMinistry of Communication, Mr. Ofosu Adarkwa, asked for communities. This is expected to cover the broad agenda inGod’s guidance in all deliberations. connecting rural communities into the knowledge economy.The Chairman for this occasion was Mr. Gideon Quarcoo, Mr. Thabani Tonny Khupe Director of Intel’s Group CorporateGhana’s Deputy Minister of Communication. In his short Affairs, Sub-Saharan Africa, in his general opening remarkswelcoming remarks, he reminded delegates of conference while stressing the importance and appropriateness of thetopics which when well presented and digested should lead conference theme, expressed Intel’s desire to connect allto good experiences for all. African citizens with internet benefits. This will be possible if African governments work together to solve pertinent issuesDr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, CEO of the CTO gave the leading such as inadequate power and absence of local content,opening remarks. He appraised the CTO’s role in connecting he pointed out.rural communities in Africa and capacity strengthening ofAfrican Regulators by focusing on the unserved and underserved Mr. Brett Goschen, CEO of Ghana’s leading Mobile Operatorthrough the Commonwealth African Connectivity Rural Initiative MTN, explained that MTN Ghana is strong on the ‘partnerships’or COMARCI. Dr. Spio-Garbrah’s major food for thought for aspect of the conference theme.delegates had to do with the rural/urban divide which remainsthe main challenge to ICT growth in Africa. He pointed out Indeed, the company has formed a working relationship withthat over seventy per cent of the people in Commonwealth the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communicationscountries did not have access to basic communication Company (GIFEC) in the area of rural connectivity, while alsoinfrastructure and hence were unconnected despite adopting new business models such as mobile banking for theadvancements within the ICT sector. underserved and unserved.6 c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010
  7. 7. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010 EVENT REPORT 17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA 2 CONFERENCE SUMMARYDr. Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the ITU gave a very Ambassador Victor Gbeho who is the President of the ECOWASthought-provoking key note address. He repeatedly noted his Commission, asked African countries to fully capitalize on ICTpassion to see the ITU drive strategies that shall lead African benefits as India and other Asian countries have done.countries to acquire right infrastructure, right capacity building, He informed delegates of ECOWAS’s 2007 Vision, founded onright local content and National Broadband Strategies - not democratic values of human rights and the rule of law becomingjust ICT policies. He emphasised, “I am particularly concerned a reality through rural community empowerment. Barriers againstthat the digital divide is not allowed to become a broadband actualisation of the ECOWAS vision are common all over thedivide.” continent (and they came up for mention throughout the conference). These include infrastructural challenges toWith broadband networks, progress can be accelerated towards connectivity; costly, unreliable or absence of power; lack ofmeeting the Millennium Development Goals, he added. If common standards; and low levels of local content programmes-broadband is to become a ubiquitous resource for all Africans, because of a lack of a sustained development drive towardsDr. Toure reminded delegates, then African governments building local skills - weak indigenous resource base; and thewould firstly need to raise broadband to the top of the lack of free movement of citizens across borders were highlighteddevelopment agenda, so that rollout is accelerated and the by the President of the ECOWAS Commission. To fight thesebenefits are brought to as many people as possible, and barriers, Ambassador Gbeho hoped governments would makesecondly, make it much more affordable. In saying this, innovative business models and partnerships which would consistDr. Toure is trying to encourage all countries to have a of effective buy in by local stakeholders.framework that enshrines broadband as a public service towhich every citizen should have access. Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Honourable Minister of Communication, Ghana, performed Grand Opening of the conference on behalfReporting to the conference, Dr. Toure said since the ITU of the President of Ghana, His Excellency Professor John EvansConnect Africa Summit in Kigali in 2007, a reported impressive Atta Mills. His speech threw a challenge to participants toUS$ 21 billion has been spent on ICT infrastructure investment “provide a framework for cooperation of public, private andin Africa in the two years following that event. The problem in grassroots people; identify clear roles of all stakeholders; establishproviding individual or even household connectivity in rural the symbiosis in the relations of stakeholders; focus on profitableand underserved areas, or trying to serve disadvantaged and ICT services rather than the display of technology or processes;vulnerable groups within communities, is often impractical, he place emphasis on the affordability of the ICT services for thelamented. His suggestion therefore, is to have smart policies rural communities and; support manpower developmentand innovative public-private partnerships promoting community and employment.” And also, “In connecting rural communities,access through schools. These represent attractive, affordable we in Africa, should embrace ICT infrastructure deploymentand scalable alternatives. On mobile telephony, he revealed as part of a unified and comprehensive economic developmentthat by the beginning of the year 2010, mobile cellular penetration strategy that also addresses issues of education, health,had reached 44% in Africa as a whole, up from just 15% four governance and commerce.” He commended Ghana’syears earlier. Even in sub-Saharan Africa, mobile penetration Telecommunications’ Operators and GIFEC for theirhad reached 34% by the start of 2010. And in many developing impressive growth in the face of financial downturn andcountries across the continent, more than half of households expressed the wish that African countries pay more attentionin rural areas now have a mobile phone. to infrastructure which promotes continental integration as witnessed in the Europe Union since such continentalHe recognised the need for public-private- partnerships to integration shall unite Africa countries.balance social and economic development aims because it willpave the way for investors and industry participants to see While deliberating on these issues, His Excellency was hopefulsufficient returns. Only then will the model be truly sustainable that delegates make maximum use of shared experiencesin the long term - and able to be widely replicated. and use this conference to serve as a ladder for cooperation on Public-Private-Peoples’ Partnerships. The conference wasConcluding, he urged African governments to make capacity declared officially opened after this presentation. The formalbuilding and content building major priorities as far as broadband opening ended with a photo session and distinguishingconnectivity is concerned because this is what will enable Africa members of the opening panel were invited to view theattain the MDGs by 2015. mounted exhibits. A short break followed.c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010 7
  8. 8. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010EVENT REPORT17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA2 CONFERENCE SUMMARY2.1.2 Ministerial Panel DiscussionsUpdates on Africa’s Rural Connectivity PolicyDr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, CEO of the CTO was introduced to As to what extent the Ministry is an implementer and policychair the second session of the conference by maker, the answer was that the Ministry is not anMr. Belingue. This was a Policy Session with the morning’s implementing one; that responsibility lies in the hands of thedistinguished panel who questioned governments’ Regulator. There is 1 fixed mobile company which has beenresponsibilities for effective rural connectivity since few African privatised with government owning minority shares.countries have Universal Access Policies. No formalpresentations were made. Presenters were expected to review Ambassador Gbeho, President of the ECOWAS Commissionpast initiatives, principal policy constraints, and suggest ways upon prompting from the Chairman about crossborderforward to achieving practical milestones. Other expectations ICT constraints or cooperation within the ECOWAS region andincluded country information on the role of legislative whether the regional body has coinvested or shared risk forinstruments which ensure the right environment for ICT ICT growth in rural areas as with the West Africa Gas project,growth, in-country and across borders, and infrastructure revealed that even though some countries have made ansharing; all of which enhance Universal Access. attempt at ICT Policy formulation, many others have relegated ICT to the back burner because of trade-offs in education andAttention, according to the chairman, was also expected to be health for instance and there has been neither joint- policy(ies)paid to the question of inclusion of Regulators in implementation. nor an attempt to achieve joint-border rural connectivity soHe mentioned the very comprehensive Botswana Rural far in the region.Connectivity Policy and Programme and looked forward toother examples of policy best- practices from the different ECOWAS has to assist governments to modernise ICT policiescountries represented. whose absence is a major constraint to cooperation.Honourable Christopher Bande, Minister from Malawi, intimated Resistance to integration has come in the form of differencesthe gathering that Malawi’s ICT Act is under review to incorporate in methodologies, standards and traditions and not languagefunding and licensing issues. There are internet and telephone barriers. Joint-border posts which have adopted commonpresence in 10 areas which are typical rural areas - this is a standards, training manuals and methodologies to enableWorld Bank pilot while the ITU is also funding telecentres in and improve free border movement was suggested by therural areas. President.8 c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010
  9. 9. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010 EVENT REPORT 17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA 2 CONFERENCE SUMMARYIndeed the Commission is currently soliciting participation of Asked by the chairman to share with the conference bestgovernments in the region on cross-border issues which definitely practices he has had the privilege of knowing about all over theincludes ICT policy development. world and also main policy constraints. He maintained that development approaches have to be conceived not from GenevaMr. G. Quarcoo, the Deputy Minister for Communication, Ghana, but from the grassroots- good and viable ICT projectsgave an overview of the country’s ICT environment. General attract funding, there is no problem with that. Indeed, inpolicy constraint in ICT growth in Africa, introduced Mr. Quarcoo, designing one’s own project, resolving issues becomeis due to the growing confusion between ‘ awareness,’ with ‘lack easier since they are local and easy to identify. He added thatof strategic awareness,’ and how highly regarded ICT is for a he has seen this work in many countries, especially the Koreanruling government. Any government that has strategic policy model. He suggested a complementary role between policyawareness of ICTs such as Ghana would treat the subject matter makers and regulators, also proven to be marks of success inwith a sense of urgency, he affirmed. many countries, he advocated.A decade ago, the then Government of Ghana passed the Mr. Ashok Kumar, Chairman of the Telecom Export Promotioncomprehensive ICT for Accelerated Development Council (TEPC) of India, gave a flavour of India’s(ICT4AD) policy - broad stream statement with several components ICT success and admitted that it is a result of enabling policies.on how to realize this dream- infrastructure needed to be India, with 20 million mobile connections a month, has a hugedeveloped, for instance. The current government being strategically population of about one billion. India’s 1 million Communityaware of the importance of ICT is making sure the policy is well Centres are therefore, being challenged by the local contentimplemented. Infrastructure development is in high gear, and factor. The numbers make local content a major challengewith fibre deployment, additional landings and last mile because there are so many languages to contend with. Universalconnectivity for the rural areas, the country is on the right track Access is in place and ISPs are heavily subsidised to connect- this way, the technology can move into rural Ghana. Hopefully rural areas with last mile connectivity through wireless. Mr.well deployed infrastructure will lead to ICT Parks to house BPO Kumar reminded delegates of India’s successes chalked in ICToperations in these areas. growth being the result of home grown policies through approaches conceived from the grassroots.Some implemented examples include the eGhana Project whichis expected to promote ICT enabled projects such as ICT Parks The Chairman noted that the challenge of local content is a realto house BPO operations in various parts of the country. The opportunity for translators and software engineers to confronteGhana Project is Ghana’s flagship project to connect the country. the issue with money making solutions. Mr. Soko was next and he informed the gathering about Zambia’s attempt to establishGhana has also through its ICT enactments, created a good USF agencies.legal environment for its growth-thus giving strengths to a numberof agencies. Ghana’s institutional framework flows through the In 2007, the National ICT Policy was launched and recently,Ministry of Communication, as policy maker and not a direct in 2009, came into being. Within the Act there is the Enablingimplementer, working in conjunction with the powerful Regulator, ICT Act and Electronic and Communication Acts. Additionally,National Communication Authority (NCA) and has implementers there is an intention to develop relevant policy, rules, operationalof its policies such as the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic manual and guidelines to implement Universal Access byCommunications or GIFEC, which implements rural connectivity 2010/2011 with full operationalisation expected in 2010, thethrough its set up of Community Information Centres in each representative declared.constituency, and National IT Agency or NITA, the keyimplementing agency. Apart from the common challenges of power, access roads, schools challenging government, a major constraintThere is the expectation of lower broadband pricing with the for Zambia to serving its rural areas with connectivity, accordingproliferation of landings in Ghana which will hopefully, lead not to Mr. Soko, is its absence of joint border connectivity.only to a glut but more accessibility to information by thoseotherwise unserved or underserved. This addressed the chairman’s suggestion of infrastructure sharing between operators. Zambia, delegates were notified,Dr. Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the ITU, in an inspiring has 8 countries on it borders. In order to stimulate demandmanner, reminded delegates, that good leadership, active to attract private sector, government is focusing on providingregulatory authorities and self-sustainable policies have to be eGovernment services as a way of stimulating demand, usingencouraged in order to realize the rural connectivity goal. Ghana’s eGhana Project as best practice to be replicated.c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010 9
  10. 10. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010EVENT REPORT17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA2 CONFERENCE SUMMARYThe implementation of ICT policy is through the Regulatory Dr. H. Toure said there is no universal solution. DifferentAuthority which collaborates with the operator. The operator countries addressed this issue differently- but commonis very committed and involved, Mr. Soko added. principles are observed. All is dependent on the country and its needs.This Policy Session engaged participants in an interactivediscussion and audience reaction consisted of a On rural licensing, Mr. Joshua Peprah Director of Licensingnumber of important contributions. From Dorothy Gordon, at NCA informed the conference of Ghana’s previous attemptDirector-General of the Ghana –India Kofi Annan ICT to do so with Capital Telecom, a private operator which provedCentre of Excellence to Ambassador Gbeho, she wanted to unsuccessful in its bid to connect the rural communities. Asknow whether the Commission has a blueprint for a lesson from the past, Ghana government now has a newrural connectivity giving Senegal’s online ICT laws as an policy which requires an operator to have a heavy emphasisexample, otherwise, is it possible to have one which on roll-out schedule and is therefore capable of sendingcould be adapted to fit each country? She was mindful of broadband access to the district level. This is an option thatthe act that costs involved in getting equipment to the can guarantee rural connectivity.rural areas have not featured in the morning’s presentations.When we talk about rural connectivity, are referring to mobile ECOWAS will have a challenge to develop blueprint, contributedhandsets or computers? If computers and not mobile handsets Mr. G. Quarcoo. He would rather wish to see a clear set ofwill be used, are we using FOSS or buying software? Also, principles set forth. As far as he is concerned, the ICT strugglewill an energy policy pose an additional burden on budgets seems like a new liberation struggle. He likened the ICTor policy templates? From Mr. Kumar, Ms. Gordon wanted a struggle as the latest struggle which should allow Africaclarification of what an Indian village size is. access to commanding heights of knowledge in real time; some countries are closer to bringing this struggle to the end,According to Ambassador Gbeho, the Commission has started for others they must ensure, foster, and promote strategicallyto address the problem of rural connectivity. Until recently, aware ICT policies.ECOWAS was targeting individual countries to democratiseICT awareness among their population, it was not specifically Concluding, he commended the CTO for its efforts in beingrural oriented, largely because ICT is mostly in private sector part of the fight to bring ICT to Africa’s unserved andhands. That sector would rather stay in the urban areas. The underserved.time has come to lay emphasis on rural areas. Having anenergy policy, he continued, is an important dimension in In his closing remarks, the chairman appreciated everyone’sformulating an ICT policy in African countries and the ECOWAS participation in the session and acknowledged the distinguishedhas begun an exercise especially with countries with ICT panel of speakers including Ghana’s Communications Ministerpolicies, to democratise ICT awareness. who spoke on behalf of the President.The question on the size of an Indian village was answered Lunch was served after this session sponsored by Intelby Mr. Kumar who said it goes from clusters to towns todistricts, depending on the revenue model adopted.A representative from South Africa in his contribution intimatedthat that country during the World Cup, earlierthis year, was able, in a short space of time to make ICT workin most areas. He wanted to know if it cannot be replicatedin other places. He noted that the frameworks are available,but we need definitions that will help us with measurementsand indicators so that we are all on the same page.Is there any country looking to issue rural area licensing, heasked? The Chairman admitted the importance of the questionsince not all operators can assess rural areas. In US, headded, there are rural area national telecoms cooperativewhich serve those areas which the big companies are notwilling to penetrate.10 c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010
  11. 11. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010 EVENT REPORT 17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA 2 CONFERENCE SUMMARY2.1.3 Regulatory Panel DiscussionsAchieving successful Rural Connectivity through EffectiveRegulationMr. John Roman Senior Intel Manager was introduced as The country has made notable strides in terms of access andchairman for this segment of the day’s activities by penetration (mobile). Penetration stood at 0.28% in 2000 andMr. Belingue who hoped for a productive session. In his opening 18% by 2008, and was ranked 14th out of 24 in the West andremarks, Mr. Roman, an engaging chairman, reminded delegates Central Africa region. Today it stands at 27%.that the objective of the session was to help plan African ICTRegulatory acceleration towards rural connectivity and to help Its Policy and Regulatory Development comes under thecreate enabling environments for connecting the “last mile.” Telecommunications Act 2006 and its drivers ofBroad headlines for this session therefore were ‘broadband’ and Universal Access come under this same Act with the Universal‘regulation.’ Access Development Fund (UNADF) Commission expected to ‘ensure universal availability of efficient, reliable and costMr. Roman also took the opportunity to advice regulators to pay effective telecommunication services throughout Sierra Leone.’more attention when planning rural connectivity, to investment The Commission embraces the process of continued review ofand not charity or donation- governments must be encouraged its licensing regime to embrace technological innovations andto plan sustainable programmes and create new markets for best practices in the region and beyond. Training of regulatorypeople to make money. Capacity, growth, speed devices, content personal is also of grave importance. The commission is fullyand digital training also have to be addressed. He reflected that committed to building the capacity of not only its staff butrural connectivity has to be addressed from the supply side. For parliamentarians and public sector personnel tasked with ICTeffective regulation environments, Regulators and Operators, related functions to drive national development objectives.he warned, have to be seen to be working together, bearing inmind that the market dynamics should be understood by all She intimated of the Commission’s eagerness to makestakeholders, this allows for true competitiveness. interventions and initiatives using data collected from stakeholders in order to increase the likelihood of success by making evidenceMs. Michala Mackay, on behalf of Mr. Siray Timbo, Chairman - based decisions. Some recent initiatives have included theand Commissioner National Telecommunications March 2010 CTO, NATCOM and Ministry of Information andCommission (NATCOM), gave a very detailed ICT overview of Communication multistakeholder COMARCI in- country capacitySierra Leone. building workshop in the provincial town of Makeni.c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010 11
  12. 12. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010EVENT REPORT17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA2 CONFERENCE SUMMARYSince the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable It is instructive to note that the ITU has been a pillar of assistanceconsortium would be the first time ever the fibre optic cable in Gambia’s endeavours to improve accessibility.will land in Sierra Leone, the government, supported financiallyby the World Bank, and the Commission would work very closely Under its Universal Access Strategy, learning from the experienceswith a legal and regulatory consulting firm to be prepared for of other African Universal Service Funds (i.e. low disbursementthe grant and issuance of the requisite license to SALCAB the ratios and project implementation challenges); a gradualist100% government owned company established to manage the approach in implementation considering, market efficiency andfibre system. Mr. Paarock Asuman VanPercy, Director-General real access gaps has been adopted. So also has a holisticof the National Communication Authority (NCA) informed the approach been adopted to address both connectivity and uptakedelegates that Authority Act 769 legally enables the Regulatory and avoid overlap between regulator, ministries and donors;authority in Ghana. “Pay or Play” to facilitate connectivity and uptake and a 3-5 year Strategic Plan with clear mandate, objectives,There has been an exponential growth in ICT all over the world deliverables and timetable.and mobile telephony has the most pervasive access to ICTs.Ghana’s August 2010 figures showed 73% mobile telephony It is instructive to note that the key problem of funds not beenand up 5% for broadband, but rural areas still underserved well utilised has been well addressed in Gambia’s strategy.because of the remoteness of the locations, who wants to deployin these areas. Aggregate demand to make it economically Mr. Patrick Mwesigwa, Ag. Executive Director, UCC of Uganda,meaningful to deploy in these areas due to low incomes. The in a presentation delivered on his behalf, enlightened delegatesusual challenge of unreliable power also makes infrastructural on Uganda’s broad ICT policy and strategic actions, which givedevelopment unattractive. Mobile phones appear to be the most evidence of an enabling ICT environment in Uganda. The useappropriate tool immediately, in bridging the rural urban divide. of the licensing instrument to facilitate rural connectivity inAccording to the country’s regulatory interventions, to accelerate Uganda by the Regulator is enhanced with tax breaks. Allocationrural connectivity, WIMAX deployment is expected to be introduced of USF is important to make sure the rural areas receive theirwhen an operator has 60% penetration by the end of its 5th due. Intervention through the funds is through the Ugandanyear of operation. regulator using the 4Ps. Internet cafes in small towns, in schools and internet connectivity in hospitals are examples of what hasGIFEC deploys infrastructure to these rural areas by putting up been achieved.masts thus encouraging co-location. This is all in the hope ofattracting operators. Deploying rural connectivity, the Director- The country however, has common continental challenges whichGeneral confirmed, is not a static situation and various and interfere with sustainability of its ICT projects. There are alsomore aggressive targets are being used e.g. tax concessions. challenges of unreliable power and local content. Mr. Mwesigwa stressed measuring uptake by users and sustainability as veryMr. Alagi Gaye, Director-General of Gambia’s Public Utilities important issues to take seriously; not forgetting Research andRegulatory Authority- PURA, gave a bird’s eye view Development with Research institutions. Allocation andof Gambia’s ICT environment with particular attention to its management of scarce resources such as spectrum managementRegulatory and Universal Access environments. The should be borne in mind in order to achieve the ruralICT environment is supported by a Policy Framework which connectivity aim. Since sustainability of projects is a majorembraces the National Information and Communication challenge, schools are being connected because they areInfrastructure Policy and Plans; and an Information and easier to regulate.Communications Act enacted in 2009, which is forward looking& based on ECOWAS Supplementary Acts as its legal framework. Two key points with the Ugandan experience; sustainability- (governments must design programmes to ensureThere are 1 Fixed operator; 4 Mobile Wireless Operators, 1 investment is ongoing) and also the measurement of uptake,operating a 3G licence and 6 operating ISPs. Gambia’s Regulatory not forgetting the importance of R&D.interventions have been meaningful with reduction in itsinterconnection rates after a study, these have led to fixed- Gertrude Mwangala Akapelwa-Ehueni, Board Chairperson ofmobile & mobile-fixed interconnection rates reduced by 50% Zambia Information & Communications Technology Authorityin October 2008 to 5 US Cents with a further 50% reduction (ZICTA) shared the Zambian experience with participants within April 2009 to 2.5 US Cents and improvements in the quality a presentation on the country’s Universal Access and Servicesof service and service standards for minimum quality of service. (UAS): Experience, Challenges & Future.12 c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010
  13. 13. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010 EVENT REPORT 17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA 2 CONFERENCE SUMMARYZambia, she noted, has a legal framework under which the ICT She informed delegates that barely 8 months in existence,Act reforming ICT regulation and creating Universal Access ZICTA reports to the policymaker and higher authority withFund regulate the provision of electronic communication services projections for Universal Access targets expected to be realisedand revised Postal Services Act operate. Under infrastructure between 2010 and 2015. Some of the key points captured atdevelopment, the broadband FibreCom Network links the country this Regulatory Session include; the fact that the importancethrough Namibia to Cape Town and provides backbone services of broadband and ICT is accepted by all however, there mustto 90% of ISPs by ZESCO. ZAMTEL has been responsible for be consistent consultation with the public on unique issues80kms of fibre cable for Lusaka metropolitan network, and also, where different stakeholders are involved; we must learn to36 communication towers are being constructed in some of the address aggressive targets and renew them as we achieve theseremotest parts of the country to extend mobile coverage to targets; setting targets therefore must be on-going; that incentivespreviously unserved areas. ZICTA is currently negotiating the are necessary for successful rural connectivity; the private sectorinfrastructure sharing MOUs with operators. On UAS affordability, must not be left out of consultations; that it is extremely importantall three mobile telephony operators have been given access to to have sustainable programmes; be mindful of the fact thatthe international Gateway; with a reduction in the International competition drives growth. We could all learn from each other.Gateway license from $12 million to $350,000, resulting in It will be interesting to know if liberalisation of gateways lowersreduction of 70% on international calls rates. Other broadband prices - this will be interesting to know.communication reduction costs have been operator annual feesfrom 5% to 3% of their revenues. Connecting and Powering Rural Communities in AfricaOn another note, national cost of service and ICT demandbaseline studies are underway and will provide input Mr. John Roman called on Dr. Ann Louise Johansson, VPin the regulation of communication costs. In an attempt to Business Development and Marketing, Flexenclosure to makeresolve the country’s ICT forward march issue, ZICTA hopes to her presentation on renewable energy solutions to connect ruraldrive collaboration with various stakeholders such as NGOs, communities. Case study results and advice on regulations wereGovernment Ministries, and the private sector in order to address also expected from the presenter.common concerns and accelerate attainment of UA objectives. Dr. Johansson, introduced the Swedish company FlexenclosureOn policy matters, there is a suggestion to refining legislation as a 20 year-old Telecommunications company which offersto address gaps and challenges in the sector, and an sustainable site solution using alternative sources of energy withimplementation of the UAS Strategy through adoption of suitable prime sources such as wind, solar and generator as back-up tomodels for targeted objectives. connect to its intelligent solution – ‘Diriflex.’c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010 13
  14. 14. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010EVENT REPORT17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA2 CONFERENCE SUMMARYIt also has a battery bank. With regards to Case Studies, the Mobile Money makes opportunities available to all on the macrocompany has paid its dues in connecting rural communities level, (government and society), meso level (business andthrough turn-key site solutions based on pre-fabricated, modular industry) and finally to citizens on the micro level. Value isconstructions in Ghana and Kenya. The E-Site in Kenya, having therefore added on all levels in society. Indeed, CGAP in itsrun for a year, has been able to make 95% savings on fuel. survey has found that the incomes of rural recipients increased up to 30% since they started using Mobile Money. ThroughAs a cost effective solution to the numerous power problems “financial inclusion of masses” and thereby “velocity to money”which are impediments to Africa’s ICT march forward, this Mobile Money increases incomes of rural areas, he assuredsolution is most appropriate for rural communities since renewable participants.energy sources can reduce the fuel consumption of off-gridtelecom sites by 90-95%. In his closing remarks, the Chairman went over what has been achieved by way of presentations by like mindedSince it is possible to radically cut and control OPEX spent on individuals, confirming that difficult as the rural connectivityremote sites, excess power can be channelled to the local issue is, it does not appear to be insurmountable becausecommunities in a controlled way, she advised. the conference has shown that we have the tools, mindsets, human capital, and the will to unlock the problems.Mr. Rohit Bhatia CEO of SEAMLESS, a Mobile Telephonycompany with customers spread across Africa, spoke under the A drinks reception was supported through sponsorship afterbroad headline of ‘Mobile Wallets for everyone, generating the afternoon’s session. Later in the evening of this first dayopportunities within Mobile Money,’ Mr. Bhatia’s impressive of the conference, a Gala Dinner was held at Ghana’s highempowering presentation clarified the benefits of including rural profile La Palm Beach Hotel sponsored by MTN Ghana.communities when deploying Mobile Money; made anidentification of Mobile Money jobs in Africa and having a fullMobile Money eco system as the target in order to receivebenefits.Some benefits of mobile money which he named include theenhancement of economic activities, especially, in ‘banking theunbanked.’ The idea of money flowing from informal channelsto formal channels leads to a reduction of cash in the systemand facilitates remittances.14 c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010
  15. 15. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010 EVENT REPORT 17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA 2 CONFERENCE SUMMARY 2.2. DAY TWO, AUGUST 18TH, 2010Mr. Marcel welcomed delegates to the second day of With $56Bn already invested in the mobile sector by thedeliberations, introduced and handed over Mr. Phillip private sector and subscriber base passing from 2m to 400mSowah, Country Manager of Bharti Airtel, Ghana (formerly mobile voice within a space of 10 years, i.e. 1998 to 2008ZAIN) as Chairman for the day’s Session on Infrastructure and an expectation that between 2008 and 2018 mobileDevelopment and Funding. Expected as presenters are voice coverage can reach 95% of the population with basicOperators and Donor Agency representative. Internet coverage possibly reaching 89% of the population; the environment is ripe enough for the private sector to drive growth.2.2.1 Infrastructure Development & Funding Rural areas not covered and so discussions on rural connectivityMr. Sowah introduced Bharti Airtel to the delegates especially very pertinent. Using the experience with USFs she addressedbecause it is virtually new in Africa. The company purchased the coverage gaps in Universal Service Funding with examplesZAIN a few months ago. He admitted that the day’s of countries like Uganda, Nigeria and Mozambique wheretopic is important and dear to heart as operators go the World Bank has supported the USF for underserved areasto the next level. with funding via subsidies on a competitive basis.Higher penetration in Africa, he said, lends itself to cost This intervention has been necessary because Privatecutting and how to save money - infrastructure sharing a partnerships are not always successful. A mixed track recordmove in the right direction and of great interest to tele- of telecentres, have shown problems with USF, and therecommunication companies in particular. have also been no performance indicators. These issues increasingly lead to the conclusion that USF may not be theMs. Mavis Ampah is the World Bank’s Senior ICT Policy best enabling environment.Specialist and she held brief for the role of developmentbanks, investment banks and fund management entities, A way out of this has been the World Bank’s interventionsconcentrating on the World Bank’s specific role. which include continuation of reform agenda for more private sector investment; fostering public-private partnerships;She quietly observed the almost 50% female participation targeting use of catalytic sector financing for: international,at this conference as compared to many years ago, when very regional, and cross-border Infrastructure for Central Africanfew African females were interested in ICT. She proceeded Backbone, West Africa and RCIP (East/Southern). It isto tell the Africa ICT story which has been incredible, and expected that there will be National Backbones and Ruralfull of challenges. Connectivity where there’s market inefficiency.c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010 15
  16. 16. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010EVENT REPORT17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA2 CONFERENCE SUMMARYCountry examples were given of Connectivity Programs supported Imbuing confidence, Intelsat’s view of the future of satelliteby the WB in partnership with African Development Bank and operators are based on the following:other partners. • Market researches show continued growth in demand forThese important examples include: satellite capacity (over 8% CAGR over 5 years according to Frost & Sullivan)a East and Southern Africa Regional Communication Infrastructure Program (RCIP) ($424m) supports terrestrial • Most terrains in Africa are favourable to Satellites connectivity infrastructure in Burundi, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and is open to • Technology improvements bringing the $/Mbps on satellite 18 other countries; significantly downb Central African Backbone Program ($215m) supports • Satellite systems are more reliable than cable systems regional connectivity for Cameroon, Chad, CAR and is and, open to 8 other countries • Regions with multiple submarine cable systems continuec EASSy submarine cable is one of three cables connecting to be heavy users of satellite services East and Southern Africa to international communications systems. Mr. John Roman, Senior Manager of Intel shared some insights in his topic, Enabling Broadband.d West Africa Regional Communications Infrastructure ($300m) at national level: eGhana, eRwanda, eBenin. Below is his adoption of ITU information on the current state of broadband in both mature and emerging markets.Focusing on skills’ development in ICT is a real source of growthand on its transformation agenda, the World Bank has shownhow to use ICT to improve productivity (performance) in various Mature Markets Emerging Marketsareas – education, health. It is also trying to leverage the mobileplatform. ‘If you create it will come’ – is how to look at creating Internet 64% 18% Penetrationan enabling environment, this is key- and must include PPPs.These partnerships are critical to the World Bank, because Broadband 23% 4%they give full competition in the sector, she added. Penetration % Income 1.5% 17.5%Mr. Flavien Bachabi is the Regional Vice-President for Africa spent on ICTof Intelsat which is headquartered in Washington DC. Thecompany is the first commercial satellite company on the Table 1: Measuring the Information Societycontinent. His topic on Role of Satellites in connecting Rural Adoption: Availability, High Cost, Relevance/Value (experience)Communities addressed questions on the kind of future satelliteoperators would have, given the dramatic rise in bandwidthavailability from undersea cable systems over the next few yearsand also what the business case is for establishing synergies Important distinction – Internet versus Broadband penetration.between satellite and fibre. SOURCE: ITU –‘Measuring the information society 2010’As an industry leader in satellite, it was impressed on delegates; Mr. Roman, in a generally advisory manner, noted thatIntelsat’s terrestrial network is integrated with Multiple Teleports broadband connectivity was broadly beneficial since it improvesand robust ground infrastructure. Infrastructure development national economies through creation of jobs, Increased accessdoes not stop at satellites only he noted; it also has 28,000 and improves delivery of essential social services whichmiles of fibre. Intelsat suggests that the expansion of cable increases national competitiveness.presents new opportunities in that satellite & submarine cableare complementary technologies that could leverage versatility Last but by no means least, it also enables all citizens to& viability of satellite services and that the future of communicate faster and in more ways; all of which help tocommunications is mobility. bridge the digital divide.16 c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010
  17. 17. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010 EVENT REPORT 17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA 2 CONFERENCE SUMMARYEssentially, he pointed out, nations recognizing the benefits An example is a Microscope fixed to mobile phone whichof broadband and ICT have comprehensive national plans. transmits magnified images to a health centre from a ruralHe named his examples from Europe, North and South area and the ever popular One-Lap-Top-A-Child which all goAmerica and Asia. towards knowledge sharing across communities. She went over the challenges of pricing, where affordability is concerned.He informed delegates that best practices have led to formation Her question is how to start targeting the underserved 70%of public/private partnerships, which undoubtedly, encourage in cost scenarios that are affordable.competition. Indeed, plans executed with international metricsenable global competitiveness. She lamented that the cost of mobile cellular is over 2 times the world average in Africa. Discouragingly enough sheHe did not mince words when he expressed the need, and continued, there are very few subsidies, few starter packs-extreme importance attached to the release spectrum. users have multiple sim cards- result of affordability. CertainCountries should look at USF as investments when they are entities are trying to break the price entry barrier.used for sustainable programmes to promote broadband andICT. On the relevance of content he expressed the need for On increasing infrastructure coverage she wants to see morecontent to be developed in order to grow rural connectivity. service innovation, e.g. mobile banking. She felt that understanding the customer helps with innovation and buildsA proper ICT IA or Impact Assessment according to Mr. constructive partnerships She believed that companies shouldRoman should see countries evaluate ICT penetration and look at operational efficiencies. R&D is becoming increasinglyeconomic status, examine the regulatory environment, assess important. Government’s role should constitute regulationthe country infrastructure, and conduct a user vs. needs and reduction of taxes.analysis. Feedback from service providers is extremelyimportant to track, evaluate ICT to and report on indicators This will assist telecommunication companies to manage–everyone should be on the same page. their costs. Ms. Kumahor concluded that Rural Connectivity is a challenge but with a road map, this will become a reality.Betty Enyonam Kumahor, Executive Director of AdvisoryServices Ghana, Ernst & Young, reflected on how to price Ms. Funke Opeke is the CEO of Main One Cable Companybroadband services for uptake in the rural areas. and she presented on Pricing broadband. Focus on affordability.70% of Africa is in the rural areas we have been told and we Getting the penetration imperative. The fully African ownedare learning that Mobile broadband is key to economic growth cable company representative insisted that benchmarkingin rural areas. She illustrated latest mobile phone gadgetry. should be Africa-specific.c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010 17
  18. 18. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010EVENT REPORT17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA2 CONFERENCE SUMMARYMAINONE’s enabling environment, she said, without mincing The challenge of relevant content which lure people intowords about the difficulty in doing business in Africa include; using the internet is what MTN faces now. Affordability isa country with a liberalised telecommunications policy which important to him and he mentioned translating affordabilityallows licensing of private submarine cables systems; stronger to the end user as very important. Other challenges, due togovernance which reduces risk profile and enables financing time management issues, have not been tackled.for high cost and regional infrastructure projects, but all thissaid and done, MainOne’s capacity utilization is still less The challenges from the operator point of view which isthan 3% of cable total. deploying broadband however, requires extensive optical fibre link covering major towns in Ghana. This infrastructuralOne of the main inhibitors of Broadband Growth, she alerted, development gets interrupted extremely frequently therebyapart from limited backbone infrastructure, is Policy limitations leading to serious service interruption- construction worksthat favour aid and direct foreign investment over sustainable, for instance are a cause of major disturbance to operators inhome grown development. Access to private African investment Ghana. Does one deploy the infrastructure for the operator,funds is able to provide longer term funding for Infrastructure regulator or market forces?projects, she preferred. Audience reaction centred on issues of cost. Rather thanIn order to deploy services to rural areas, there should be duplicate in different directions, infrastructure sharing lowersstricter guidelines and/or incentives to unbundle existing and costs. However, how do prices translate to the end user? Itemergent backbone infrastructure; policy initiatives to facilitate was realised that affordability is not defined, but determinedlocal content development with a focus on public educational by market factors.institutions. Mr. Flavien Bachabi pointed out that the internet is notSystematic implementation of e-government and private necessarily broadband but broadband, is some internet. Dosector programs that leverage broadband applications in rural we want ownership or access? He related that the generalareas- could facilitate broadband delivery to rural areas. perception of infrastructure sharing is that it cuts costs. Pricing is very complicated, and does this mean infrastructureThe cooperation of international institutions, regional bodies sharing should be mandated?and neighbouring states in highlighting need and supportingnecessary approvals required to install cable system is urgently Audience reaction suggested that Infrastructure sharingneeded. The well delivered presentation emphasised that should be allowed by market forces, but the other side of thesharing of deployed WAN to the rural areas do not necessarily coin is that market behaviour could lead to implementationrequire building a new network. Old networks can be extended taking too long. What business model would Intel suggest?to rural areas. Mr. F. Bachabi reiterated that satellite is certainly more expensive than fibre.A short break for light refreshments followed this presentationbefore Q&A. In his opinion, Dr. E. Spio-Garbrah wondered if encouragement through incentives and penalties where necessary should not be introduced for Operators to compete on service level rather2.2.2 Panel Discussion – interactive session than on infrastructural level. He shared the co-location sentiment. He agreed that market levels used to determineServing as the same Chairman for discussions on how Africa’s infrastructure sharing would delay connection to the ruralundersea cable will help accelerate connectivity and provide areas; however, an incentive shared would assist with breakingaffordable broadband, Mr. Phillip Sowah asked the panel down the barrier. Risk sharing, he added, would helpconsisting of 3 - 5 people (including the chair), to present infrastructure sharing not only for mobile but many othertheir views on the theme and then to discuss them with the ICTs.audience. This presented a very exhilarating Question andAnswer Session. A representative from Sierra Leone maintained that, co- location of masts in that country is mandatory. However,Mr. Eben Albertyn, CTO of MTN, Ghana started the ball rolling foreign companies are not allowed to own land. This posesby letting delegates know that with all the connectivity problems for operators. The answer is to co-ordinate alllandings of SAT 3, TEAMS and EEASY, MTN has been able agencies down the ladder to work as a team – land owners,to cover all 4 areas of Africa. public departments and other stakeholders.18 c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010
  19. 19. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010 EVENT REPORT 17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA 2 CONFERENCE SUMMARYA Nigerian delegate asked, ‘How does one make co-location Access network is indeed a point of contention. It is believedmandatory’? He did not think it is necessary to hold the big that different standards and technology of operators couldstick but rather to encourage co-location and infrastructure push co-location to the burner. Encouraging and providingsharing. This brought Dr. Spio-Garbrah back on his feet to incentives; technological and competitive issues betweenassert that first comers, traditional thinking allows, would operators must be encouraged, thereby reducing distrustnormally protect their sites fiercely from other operators who among competitors.come in later. Rational roll out allowing for competition shouldlead to rural connectivity and better quality of service. After this very interesting Q&A Session, Mr. Andrew Doyle,Regulators should draw up rules in consultation with Head of Information, Communications & Media (Africa), Mottstakeholders – joint ownership. There is merit in co-location MacDonald South Africa, provided a crisp and detailed papernow; it has become a new experience. on telecommunication investment in Africa; this is from Mott Macdonald’s perspective, based on its recent experience onA reaction from NCA, Ghana informed that when there were the continent.complaints in Ghana about danger from siting masts nearresidential areas, an industry forum was held to discuss the For the purposes of this presentation, he dwelt on investorsway forward. The forum encouraged co-location. Indeed the in the telecom sector who are provided a range of transactionalNCA is coming out with a document on co-location. GIFEC, advisory services by Mott MacDonald. Key questions thatGhana’s UA Company encourages co-location, he added. investors should ask in the African telecom environment, heFor India, the scenario is different. Since the country is made suggested, are:up of different environments there cannot be a single solution.Infrastructure sharing is not allowed. It is government subsidy • What the regulatory environment is like - is it stable, isthat is shared. it invasive, is there a coherent plan?The Licensing framework is such that Operators must have • What are the ‘hot’ markets and sectors that are active?enough traffic to be able to build cable network.A similar reaction from a Nigerian delegate said mandatory • What’s the market risk?co-location is not always the best way to go. • Is the business plan sound?The Tanzanian delegate wanted to know why there was noinfrastructure sharing earlier? At what levels can operators The retail space across Africa is competitive but there is ashare broadband, for instance? clamour for alternative infrastructure.c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010 19
  20. 20. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010EVENT REPORT17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA2 CONFERENCE SUMMARYThere is much more market risk associated with telecom Charlotte Mokoena, CEO, TMS, Telkom Group in South Africa,investment than other forms of strategic infrastructure and shared with participants, lessons learnt in rural connectivityso focus should lie on the addressable market; Public Private in that country. Telkom SA Limited is one of Africa’s largestPartnerships (PPPs) for instance, have roles to play. Indeed, integrated communication companies. As a premier pan-he continued, Africa is a hotbed of ideas and capital is African partner in building and transformingavailable for the right projects. Wholesale competition is a telecommunications enterprises, its challenges are worthkey driver for lowering the costs of service provision and noting.reducing retail barriers to entry. Funding, he concluded, flowstowards revenue generating infrastructure and governments She enumerated these as; terrestrial solutions which wouldand regulators need to encourage it and participate. not work, expensive copper wire, remote locations of customers and absence of power in many targeted customer locations.It is worthy of note that the issue of infrastructure sharing She also briefed participants on some areas which whenhas been of concern in the telecom industry and a very pursued, would lead to benefits in e-Governance, Education,important realisation reached at this conference, was the and Communication for rural areas. These are as follows:fact that successful rural connectivity depends on how thetelecom operators can share infrastructure. • Business models that must be supported by a clear funding model or low-interest loansLunch was sponsored by MTN Ghana • Wireless technologies to demonstrate value in low-cost rural communities2.2.3 Operator’s Panel • Nurture local ownership in ICT initiatives to keepMrs. Mawuena Trebarh, Corporate Services Executive, MTN communities engagedGhana presented MTN Foundation’s commitment topartnership to support rural development in the communities • Ensure affordability and availability of serviceswhere it operates. • Provide reliable, high-quality services with the most costIn partnering for rural development, MTN in 2007 set up the effective technology availableMTN Foundation which intervenes from the social perspective. • Cooperation among carriers to share passive, active andThe MTN Foundation, a separate legal entity from the Telecom backhaul infrastructureCompany, involved district level officials and social groupsnationwide in workshops that identified health and education • Prioritise provision of service to public access points suchinterventions as keys to partnering for rural development. as local government, educational institutions, healthBeing keen on corporate sustainability, MTN is also partnering facilities, emergency services and public phones.with GIFEC to provide internet access points in the ruralareas. These demonstrate that the relevance of connectivity to rural areas depend on broader rural development priorities.MTN’s distinct employee volunteerism approach accordingto Mrs. Trebarh, has led its workers to identify community Mr. Theo Agbeko, Commercial Product Manager, Bharti Airtelrelated projects and these have led to the MTN Foundation’s aired his views on Ghana’s Broadband infrastructuresocial interventions which have supported the MDGs and also development for rural areas.demonstrated its responsibility as leaders in the industry-leadership, they say, according to Mawuena, comes with He lamented that rural communities have limited or nosocial responsibilities - responsibilities that are relevant to broadband access even though the arrival of basic telephonyassisting with government’s agenda. USD$ 3 million has so and broadband internet constitutes a critical take off pointfar been invested by the Foundation in its 3 years’ of its in a community’s path to economic and social development.existence. The challenges are expected to be overcome with cooperationThe future for market leaders MTN said Mrs. Trebarh, is very between all stake holders – both public and private. For thebright. A well thought out and impactive plan is what private sector to invest in these areas one has to look at longparticipants were urged to look out for. term benefits.20 c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010
  21. 21. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010 EVENT REPORT 17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA 2 CONFERENCE SUMMARYMr. Agbeko admitted that since a robust, affordable broadband It seems, the current roll out situation of rural areas in Ghanainfrastructure is important today, and will be vital in the for Bharti Airtel has been tough. However, it has overcomefuture for the continued growth and prosperity of advanced incipient challenges through co-sharing with MTN and TiGO.technology businesses and lifestyles, there is need not only Rebranding will tell what Bharti Airtel or ZAIN, has by wayfor development of broadband infrastructures across rural of venture funding.communities, but also, access to basic education for all, awaiver for right of way restrictions and fees, abolition of In Nigeria, delegates were informed, there is difficulty in co-multiple taxes for service providers, creation of enabling locating because of its proverbial power situation. An answerenvironment by government and local authorities, right policy suggested that the power problem could be addressed throughformulation and lastly, support & input from NGOs role which renewable energies –solar, wind and battery are alternativesis expected to be impactive. that are tried and tested.A Q&A session addressed various issues after a short break. Ghana, delegates were informed, is now experiencing co- location because the stage of distrust is a past issue. It is thus obvious that challenges are being managed in the countryA pertinent question to MTN was whether its Foundation, a Ghana. When it comes to renewable energy, MTN owns adifferent legal entity from the Telecommunications company, robust sustainable initiative.is not doing the work of Ghana’s UA&F agency, GIFEC? South Africa the conference was informed, has a balance inThe answer is that the two are distinct with distinct initiatives regulation and diversity of infrastructure.who find themselves inevitably in the same social interventionpot.There was the fear that there is no pool of ICT skilledemployees for rural connectivity by SA Telekom- no poolingof knowledge by operators. This content issue was notdeveloped in presentations of the day and it may be becausethe issue has not been fully resolved yet.Another troubling question was whether any venture fundshould be different from GIFEC’s investment Fund?c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010 21
  22. 22. CRC AFRICA FORUM 2010EVENT REPORT17 - 19 AUGUST, 2010, ACCRA, GHANA2 CONFERENCE SUMMARY2.3. DAY TWO, AUGUST 18TH, 2010 (AFTERNOON SESSION)2.3.1 Panel DiscussionMr. Olusola Teniola, COO OF Phase3 Telecom was introduced Indeed, students have also learnt to use conference calls asas chairman for the interactive session. He quickly went over discussion forum, to enhance what have been taught in school.the topic of value-added services to rural areas and asked thefirst speaker to give a few minutes’ observation of the topic. Indeed this led to yet another question- cum-contribution on the kind of value rural areas get from operators. It seems it isRohit Bhatia, CEO Seamless, gave an overview of mobile growth all about technology, it seems value is reduced to engineering.and its complementary technologies & penetration in Africa. He Emphasis should be made that ICT is not only engineering-Itshared the perspective that local content could be the move should be realised that the reason for less use of internet servicetowards value-added services. From the MTN perspective, Mazen in these unserved areas is because the internet is seen asMroue, CIO, MTN Ghana, declared that the major driver of technology. How do we correct this perception? The problem isgrowth is investment in people. Next after infrastructure is voice about application and not technology only. The frustratedand the use of the next generation, Evolved EDGE or EEDGE, contributor preferred that people in the rural areas are able toa 3G platform, will lead mobile users to browse. He maintained get the cure of malaria on the internet in their local languages.that the journey to use EEDGE should allow us to stay connected,especially in the rural areas. To answer the question of local content one could easily focus on telecom infrastructure, but there has been too much focusDr. Ann Louise Johansen of Flexenclosure insisted that connectivity on that sector of connectivity because there are other infrastructureis king. Alternative energy resources are cost intensive, the available . Why not look at the banking infrastructure where thequestioner therefore asked what is expected of operators, by ICT infrastructure does not exist? Well, how many rural folksway of cost. The initial cost comes in with the first operator who have bank accounts? The use of mobile telephony increasinghas to educate users therefore working cheaper for other operators penetration in the rural areas is no news now and mobile moneywhose path would have been cleared already, it was observed. should make a difference in this case. These services are theAn interesting question was asked of the agricultural sector from kind of value-added services that ICTs are able to offer the ruralwhich rural Africa receives its revenue. In the light of rural areas. The chairman thanked panelists with a trace of the journeyconnectivity, what business models or requirement do operators from infrastructure – the base level of telecommunication, thenhave in this specific area, and this is not exclusive to mobile applications, to great value-added services. He was grateful tooperators. A contributor from Kenya shared that country’s the ECOWAS Commission for being quite supportive in givingagricultural experience – in that country, the ‘flash’ is used to out guidelines for interlocking countries, not forgetting thesend farmers relevant industry information. exciting session on co-location, connectivity and applications.22 c Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2010 August 2010