Smart Africa and the digital economy

03 August 2016: Inmarsat recently attended the Smart Africa Board meeting, which was held alongside the 2016 African Union Summit in Rwanda.


Smart Africa was set up in 2013 with a Manifesto based on putting ICT at the heart of the socio-economic growth agenda to create a single digital economy across the whole of Africa.

Headed up by the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and the former ITU Secretary General, Dr Hamadoun Toure, the Board consists of 13 African Presidents and four industry members of which Inmarsat was the first.

Digital economy

Andy Start, Inmarsat President, Global Government, Mademba Cisse, Inmarsat Director Market Access and Gordon McMillan, Inmarsat Business Development Director, Africa and Middle East represented the company at the four-day meeting.

“Smart Africa is an important initiative that addresses the issues of connectivity and the digital economy across Africa. One of the five principles that its manifesto cites it to improve access to ICT, especially broadband, which is where Inmarsat can help,” said Andy Start.

“The meeting provided us with a unique opportunity to listen to the Presidents of over 40 African nations explain the various challenges in their countries and it was exciting to see how our solutions and satellite terminals could make a real difference.”

Inmarsat is already working with international partners in Sub-Saharan Africa to bring internet connectivity to local communities in Nigeria and Kenya in the form of banking and maternal and child healthcare.