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Africa: Nokia Invites European Firms to Invest in Africa

Walter Wafula

Helsinki — Growing demand for mobile phone related services and improving infrastructure networks in Africa has prompted Nokia to invite more European firms to the continent. Mr Esko Aho, the executive vice president company relations Nokia told European entrepreneurs in Finland that Africa is hungry for new investments that can enable consumers to make maximum use of the existing IT networks and phones.

The high demand for mobile phone driven services like mobile money has created business opportunities for IT firms to expand into Africa as solution providers according to the expert. “The first phase of investment was in connecting people, the next phase is empowering people. This is a key step in the next mobile revolution of Africa,” he said at the opening of the 2010 Mobile Africa Conference in Helsinki on Thursday. The conference was organised to promote cross-continent investments between Africa and Europe and widen markets for companies.

The International Telecommunications Union estimates that Africa has more than 400 million mobile users up from about 246 million two years ago. The continent’s mobile penetration rate is estimated at 550 per cent compared to the world’s average of 50 per cent as of 2009. “There’s a lot of potential in Africa now. Thanks to these fibre optic cables and investments in infrastructure,” he added.

Fibre optics are super-fast internet cables like Seacom, which connect people and businesses to different parts of the world for different purposes.

Source: (Uganda)                                 Image: Nokia

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