The Rwandan President says there is urgent need for the continent to develop a single telecommunication sector to reduce on costs and improve efficiency through integration.
Paul Kagame said currently due to lack of integration, telephones calls between African countries are often routed through Europe or Asia, increasing the tariffs on ordinary people.
Regional integration such as Smart Africa’s focus on One Africa Network can help lay the groundwork for more collaborations in the fields of health, infrastructure and economy, he added.
“There is still this myth that we always have to look outside the continent to fund major initiatives, but this simply can’t be true when Africa is losing billions every year –through lost taxes – sending private assets abroad, and other factors,” he said during the Transform Africa Economic Forum in Kigali this week.
The event attended by South Sudan’s Minister of Information, Michael Makuei attracted leaders from the Public and Private Sectors, Investors, and innovators from across the continent and the world.
It discussed how technology can be used to advance healthcare, and transforming governments and business in Africa into a digital economy and society.
Paul Kagame told the gathering that the ‘One Network for Africa’ that he and a Zimbabwean businessman are advocating for, will accelerate both research and distribution of products and services.
He said it is time for Africans to start trading freely across the continent through free movement of goods, people, services and capital.
“The issue has to do with the mindset, and it is up to us to identify mindsets that hold us back as a continent, and change how we do business.”
Mr. Kagame added that the advancement of an African single digital market will act as a facilitator of economic integration.
Last month, the now former governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan said there were plans to introduce the use of mobile money transfer system to reduce the burden of carrying bulky cash in the country.
Dr. Othom Rago who had visited Kenya to learn how people uses phone system to transfer money and pay bills, said the central bank will do the same to improve transaction in South Sudan.
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