Smart Africa, Afriwave partner to advance connectivity and data capacity

Accra, Nov 8, GNA - Smart Africa and Afriwave Telecom Ghana Limited have partnered to collaborate in One Africa Network and Interconnect Clearinghouse initiative, Data Centre and Cloud Project and Intra-Africa Connectivity project, to advance digital transformation in Africa.

Mr Francis Poku, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Afriwave Telecom, who said this in a statement copied to Ghana News Agency on Monday, added that the partnership would also see Smart Africa and Afriwave Telecom providing training for decision-makers across Africa through the Smart Africa Digital Academy vehicle.

Smart Africa is an alliance of 32 African countries, international organisations and global private sector players, tasked with defining Africa’s digital agenda.

“The alliance is empowered by a bold and innovative commitment by African Heads of State to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent and usher Africa into the knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and the use of ICTs,” the statement said.

It added, “With a vision to create a single digital market in Africa by 2030, the Smart Africa Alliance brings together Heads of State who seek to accelerate the digitalization of the continent and create a common market.”

Mr Lacina Koné, CEO and Director General of Smart Africa Secretariat, also said, “It is important that we keep Africa’s data within the borders of Africa. “In order to achieve that, we must build the capacity to manage and store data on the continent.

“This partnership with Afriwave Telecom will use African skills to advance Africa’s capacity and digital transformation.”

Afriwave Telecom is a Ghanaian company established in 1998 to provide telecommunications solutions in Ghana and beyond.

It is the first and the only licensed Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) Operator in Ghana and currently provides national telecommunications interconnect clearinghouse services to licensed Mobile Network Operators (MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo and Glo Mobile) in Ghana.

Afriwave Telecom also provides international telecommunications interconnect clearinghouse services to International Wholesale Carriers who route international telecom traffic into Ghana.

The statement said the operations of ICH have brought several benefits to the Ghana telecom sector and Afriwave telecom was looking forward to extending its services to other parts of Africa.

It said the company was therefore ready to collaborate with other stakeholders with similar ambitions and objectives.

Mr Poku also said, “We have often wondered when traffic within Africa will be routed within the borders of the continent.

“The establishment of intra-African cross-border links and interconnections will create an enabling environment aimed towards achieving the ultimate objective of keeping all African traffic within Africa.”

ICH services provide a simple, cost-effective and reliable point of interconnection and interconnection links leading to a reduction in interconnect OPEX and CAPEX; efficient handling of new and traditional interconnect requirements.

It also provides a point of interconnection and reduces the entry barrier to other service providers into the telecom interconnect ecosystem; provides independent verification and reconciliation of interconnect billing records to enhance quick clearing and settlements among connecting entities.

Mr Poku described ICT as an enabler for the economy, saying, “At Afriwave, we are working through the ICH platform to provide a gateway into the telecom's ecosystem.

“Provision of financial clearing house services to facilitate easier settlement of interconnect fees amongst MNOs and potential MNOs and VAS providers.”

He said the system offered better utilization of Interconnect links, billing and mediation services, and integrating other sectors of the economy into the telecom ecosystem would enhance transaction speed and therefore stimulate economic growth.

It is also noted to be simple, cost-effective, and reliable Points of Interconnection (POIs) as well as Routing and Reconciliation of Interconnect Traffic between Service Providers and in addition, offers Voice, Short Messaging Service.