The socio-economic benefits of being on the cutting edge of information and communication technologies cannot be gainsaid.

Leveraging on ICTs can help countries achieve every single one of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, affordable and effective ICT infrastructure is vital in enabling developing economies to make progress in the digital age.

It is through this lens that African countries need to evaluate their relationships with technology partners. Foreign direct investments in Africa are expected to reduce between 20 and 40 percent as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In these dreary circumstances, ICT skills and infrastructure are offering Africa the best chance to stand on its own feet.

Over the years, many tech giants have brought to Africa a number of technological solutions that have propelled socio-economic growth in leaps and bounds.

As the continent seeks higher rates of connectivity—and an increase in the speed of information flow—we have witnessed companies such as Huawei invest heavily in the network infrastructure across the continent, including Safaricom locally. For the past two decades, the Chinese tech giant has played a pivotal role in moving Africa’s network infrastructure from 2G to 4G and now to the 5G-network solution. The latest technology has already been piloted in Nigeria and is installed for commercial use in Johannesburg.