Magazine article African Business

'Africa Telecom 2001': Where the Action Is

Magazine article African Business

'Africa Telecom 2001': Where the Action Is

Article excerpt

The fifth international telecoms exhibition and forum for the Africa region under the aegis of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), is being held at the Gallagher Estate, Johannesburg, from 12-16 November. Everybody who is anybody in the world of telecoms is expected to there. Story by Tom Nevin.

The exhibition, billed as the biggest telecom event ever held in Africa, is the 25th to be held by the ITU, and is being hosted by the South African government.

"The ITU is delighted to have the opportunity of staging an event as important as 'ITU Telecom Africa 2001' in South Africa," says Yoshio Utsumi, the ITU secretary general. "Africa is the region of the world still most in need of telecom development, and it is my hope that the 'Africa 2001' event will enable us to take another leap forward in this most important of areas."

The ITU received invitations with "very attractive conditions" from a number of countries in the region to host the event, "so it wasn't easy to decide on the host country," says Utsumi. "After many consultations and a series of negotiations, however, and taking into account the particular considerations of infrastructure, accommodation, transport and conference and exhibition facilities, we accepted South Africa's offer to host the event.

The exhibition was officially launched in Johannesburg on 23 October by the ITU and South Africa's communications minister, Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri.

"South Africa is particularly honoured to host one of the biggest landmark events for the global communications sectors," said Matsepe-Casaburri. "This event represents an opportunity of untold proportions. It will give the African continent a launch pad for ICT (Information and Communication Technology] development infrastructure."

The launch was attended by 350 people, including government ministers, regulators, industry representatives and journalists. …

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