Equinox advises on connectivity and telecommunications in Africa
Maltese firm Equinox Advisory Ltd, a leader in legal, economics, corporate and technology services with expertise in public utility infrastructure, software and telecoms, was recently invited by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Mauritius for the third edition of the ICT/BPO International Conference 2013 to discuss how it would be possible to create, leverage and establish interoperable infrastructures in Africa.
Equinox Advisory sent its CEO, Bernard Mallia, who was a panelist in one of four plenary sessions dealing with connectivity and telecommunications in Africa. The conference was attended by several ministers of African countries and by several European, Asiatic and African firms involved in the construction of infrastructure.
Capitalising on Equinox Advisory’s past experience in advising various governments, authorities and economic undertakings in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the ASEAN region in, among other things, the challenges of making electronic communications investments pay a social dividend by utilising them as a key enabler of several other sectors of the economy, Mr Mallia said: “Connectivity and telecommunications remain at the forefront of any country’s development policy. This is particularly so for the ICT sector if it were to be viewed from the lens of inclusive development. How should African nations come together to develop collaborative models where technical infrastructure is viewed as a shared model, and growth is pursued collectively across chosen economic sectors?”
The primary aim of the conference was to provide a platform for harnessing ICT-BPO (Business Process Outsourcing)-induced development strategies through dialogue, research and learning, sharing of best international practices and valuable insights, partnership-building and networking with an international audience.
The thematic for this year’s edition revolved around developing strategy for the export of ICT-BPO services and solutions to Africa and countries in the Mauritian region for furthering the development of the ICT sector to the next stage of growth. Participants had the opportunity to engage in high-level dialogue and expert insights on ICT opportunities and challenges. The role of policy-makers was also reviewed in terms of enabling the ICT sector to upgrade towards becoming the main contributor to GDP growth.
Mr Mallia went on to point out that the similarities between Mauritius and Malta, as well as their need to specialise in order to excel and to be identified with a brand – Brand Malta or Brand Mauritius - meant that the two countries could learn from one another and collaborate together through their business communities to be able to sustainably attain mutual benefits in the global market. He concluded by saying that this was the time for Africa to rise and that future generations would judge Africa’s respective leaders now not on the basis of whether they have managed to maintain the status quo, but on the basis of the prosperity that such leaders were able to unlock in the region.
Equinox Advisory’s contribution was well-received and highlighted several possible solutions for Africa’s connectivity, investment and digital divide problems.
Photo: Bernard Mallia during the plenary session of a Mauritius conference on connectivity and telecommunications in Africa