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MTN Group CEO canvasses regulatory harmony across Africa to drive investments

MTN Group CEO and President, Ralph Mupita, has urged African governments to harmonize regulations, especially in the tech sector, to encourage increased investment in digital infrastructure.

According to ItWeb, Ralph Mupita aired his opinion at the opening of the 11th edition of the African CEO Forum held in Kigali, Rwanda, in the presence of about 2500 business leaders, policymakers, investors, and presidents.

“I would argue that the thing we do need to think about is harmonising regulatory developments, particularly in the technology space,” he said, adding: “How do we create regulatory systems that are common across Africa?” Mupita quizzed.

Mupita explained to the forum that harmonisation of regulations across the continent would help investors to better anticipate their returns. This will in turn lead to more capital investment in the digital infrastructure required to accelerate economic development.

A World Bank report in 2019 revealed that about $100 billion will be needed to achieve universal access to broadband connectivity in Africa by 2030.

GSMA Intelligence data show there were just under 520 million unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2023. Of these numbers, 296 million persons subscribed to the mobile internet service.

Mupita’s call for harmonized regulation across the African continent at the Africa CEO Forum is not the first time he has voiced such opinions.

During the Africa Prosperity Dialogue held in Ghana in January 2023, he stressed that regulation in the African telecommunication sector is outdated and does not fit into the current reality of the sector today.

The regulatory frameworks for Africa’s telecommunications industry do not reflect our current advancement. They are still positioned for the era of voice.” Mupita said

“As the world continues to undergo major digital transformation and disruption, our regulatory frameworks need to evolve to reflect these technological advancements,” he added.

Ralph Mupita’s business rival and CEO of Pan African telco Shameel Joosub also called for a closer collaboration across the continent through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) with the goal of improving trade and economic growth.

He further explained that the AfCFTA can provide a regulatory framework for seamless data interoperability for intra-continental cross-border trade for member states to follow, thereby harmonizing regulation across its member states in the continent.

What you need to know 

  • MTN’s latest result for Q1 2024 shows it now has 288 million subscribers in the 18 markets in which the Pan-African firm operates.
  • The African CEO Forum 2024 edition, which started on Thursday, will be rounded off today in Kigali, Rwanda, making it a two-day session of serious iteration and brainstorming of ideas by the continent’s biggest business leaders.

NewsTimes.Africa.

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