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'Africa must invest in energy to have 5G'

'Africa must invest in energy to have 5G'

Unitel representative Isabel dos Santos has appealed for the need for strong investment in Africa's energy sector in order for 5G to become a reality on the continent.

Speaking at AfricaCom 2019 in Cape Town this week, dos Santos said: "Telecom operators are eager to deploy the 5G network, but that requires a strong investment in Energy, just as it happened in Telecommunications."

"I would like to see in the energy sector the same thing that happened in the telecommunications sector: a big investment from the private sector. Today we are 1.2 billion people in Africa, by 2050 we will be 2.4 billion - more than in China. The investment required in infrastructure is huge".

According to dos Santos, Unitel is the largest mobile operator in Angola and has invested over US$2.2-billion in fibre optic cable infrastructure, through private money.

"Today we have 14,000 km of optical fibre, we promote the expansion of the internet nationwide with one of the most modern telecommunications networks in Africa. It is important that companies and governments work together. If African governments create business models, it will stimulate positive investment environments."

Building a large e-commerce platform is one of Africa's biggest opportunities, dos Santos continued.

"Africa has to build a big e-commerce platform, which will bring great opportunities. There are fewer barriers, costs go down and we will be able to communicate our product better and to a much larger audience." While highlighting the value of e-commerce, the businesswoman also said that "the next big companies in Africa will be largely driven by digital economy and e-commerce".

Talking about digital development, Isabel dos Santos stressed that "there needs to be infrastructure, markets and financial services that support it".

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