Angola ICT Minister: Invest in space industry to ensure a connected, peaceful Africa

Angola ICT Minister Mario Oliveira during an interview in Nairobi on Monday. (Boniface Okendo, Standard)

Africa should act quickly and tap into the significant potential in the global Space industry. Angola's ICT Minister Mário Oliveira has urged.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing Connected Africa Summit in Nairobi, Oliveira said that while such summits are important in sharing knowledge, concrete steps are needed to implement the proposals presented by different stakeholders.

 "The key point is to be together. After this conference, we need to set a time schedule (to implement what we have discussed) and not just make good speeches which go with the wind. Our technicians need to sit at the table and conduct the technical work and we have an experience with Zambia," he said.

He championed the need for greater investment in technology infrastructure, touting it as the best way to ensure a connected and peaceful Africa. Similarly, Oliveira said collaboration within the continent would see it rise us a global power in technology, He pointed out Angola's experience with neighbour ing Zambia, which has seen the latter benefit from Angola's satellite programme, Angosat.

"There are many opportunities for investment in the satellite programme. Our space programme, Angosat, is only one piece. We are fully open to providing ser for all African countries that need our support." said Oliveira, who added that Luanda was focused on investments in telecom equipment such as routers, radios and fibre optic cables, among others to create employment for Africa's youthful population. 

"We are working on observation satellites and we are in the technical process. They will help countries support agriculture, mining, oil exploration, police and border control and also support building infrastructures."

He said the Southern African nation was open to investment from public and private sector operators, urging Kenyans to invest in Angola. The ICT minister added that his office would facilitate collaboration between Kenya and Angola to learn from Nairobi's experience in mobile money.

"If you want to develop technology, you must do it with others... we know that Kenya has some experience in satellite as it has its programme like we do. We can share information and cooperate. We will present it to Kenya's satellite authority our space pro gramme," stated Oliveira, who also met Kenyans interested in investing in ICT in Angola.

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