In an interview with Capacity Media’s Abigail Opia, MainOne CEO, Funke Opeke, discusses why the next 10 years will be filled with opportunities for further growth in broadband penetration and digital market expansion across the West African sub-region.
Read excepts from the interview below:
As the year draws to a rapid close, the compelling case for increased investment in digital connectivity in Africa continues to blossom. At the core of it all is MainOne, a telecom services and network solutions provider with operations across West Africa.
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, MainOne has invested in over US$400m in infrastructure in West Africa as part of its efforts to bridge the digital divide and enable the digital economy. The investments include submarine cables, terrestrial fibre networks, and Points of Presence (POPs) across the region. Within this period, the company has delivered services to 10 West African countries and has built Tier III data centres in Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire hosting the largest institutions and global content in the region, with ongoing expansions of its data centre footprint in Nigeria and Ghana.
According to her, “MainOne’s biggest achievement to date remains building the pioneering open access submarine cable system that reduced the cost of connecting our region to the internet, thus enabling access for citizens. We have provided wholesale internet services to over 10 West African countries and broadband internet penetration in our region has grown over the past 10 years from less than 10% to approximately 40% today.”
Speaking on other markets the company has its eye on, Opeke reveals that MainOne’s efforts remain tailored to West Africa because “there is still a lot more to be achieved”.
“The company is committed to deepening its penetration into the West African Francophone region with our build-out to Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire last year, and extension to Burkina Faso earlier this year,” she continues.
“The entire region is witnessing exponential growth in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector which is creating benefits and opportunities not only in the ICT sector itself, but across the entire economy.”