Nairobi hosted the first Indo-Africa ICT Expo under the theme: Convergence of IT and Telecom- Unlocking huge demand in ICT. The event is meant to tighten the relationship and commitment between India and African countries in trade. Many Tech companies converged and shared their innovations under one roof. The event was launched in conjunction with Information Technology Authority of Kenya, Telecom Export Promotion Council (TEPC) of India, and National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM).
Indo-Africa ICT Expo hosted many delegates, various officials and business leaders from India, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Sudan. Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary of Kenya and Rakesh Garg, Secretary Telecom of India were the invited Chief Guests.
“We have got a lot of experience in policies, networks/technology, skill development and innovative solutions using ICT to share with Africa,” said Rakesh Garg.
“We see opportunities for cooperation and our government is keen to encourage business activities between India and Africa,” Garg added.
Tech companies and individual brands were showcased in the Expo. Many companies had the chance to network with a number of African tech entrepreneurs. The event was supported by Dept. of Telecom and Dept. of Commerce, Government of India. NASSCOM has partnered with ICT Authority.
Over 300 companies were brought together from India and Africa. In addition to that, the Expo attracted over 2000 business visitors.
“Africa is one of the fastest growing ICT market and we see opportunity to build high-capacity and resilient broadband network infrastructure along with innovative IT solutions,” Sanjay Nayak, vice chairman of TEPC and MD Tejas Networks, told IANS.
“Indian companies have an advantage in African markets, since they already have the experience of successfully tackling similar business challenges, competitive pressures and harsh operating environment in India,” Nayak said.
A number of companies were using technology to provide solutions to many problems Africans face in health, shelter, infrastructure and education. “We work closely with the Industry experts to create a solution, which absorbs the workflow and accountability of the Industry needs.”Cyber Infrastructure representative said.
Kiambu County got the opportunity to showcase some of the work they have done in technology and Industrial Development. The county has mineral resources such as Diatomite, Carbon Dioxide and Hard Core. They are currently venturing in mining which is the County’s development agenda.
East African countries showed great interest in building strong relationship with India. “We are much closer to India not only geographically but in terms of challenges as well and we need to enhance our relationship in terms of ICT. We need relevant Indian solutions for our development,” Hassen Mashinda, PhD, director general of Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology, said.
“As India and Africa witness exponential growth in the telecommunication and information technology segments, trade partnership is bound to gain in the field of ICT.”
Indo-Africa ICT Expo will be an annual programme. Other African countries will have the opportunity to host the event.