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Monday, June 01, 2009

Operators lead way to ‘09 W.Afri.Tel

All is now set for the three-day West African International Telecommunications and Information Communication Technology Exhibition (W.Afri.Tel), due to open in Lagos, tomorrow, June 2, 2009, as telecommunications operators lead the way.

The organizers of the show informed in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online that the exhibition, regarded as the premier medium for showcasing the latest ICT technologies by leading companies in the sector would be graced both local and international companies, to be led by telecommunications operators.

And to enhance the exhibition, the organizers said, this year would feature the debut of the West African Information and Communications Technology (WAFICT) Congress, expected to be held simultaneously with the exhibition.

WAFICT is introduced as an avenue for brainstorming by intellectuals and professionals in the ICT sector.

The event organised by South African-based Exhibition Management Services (EMS) in partnership with IT & Telecom Digest, the conference aspect, would focus on sustaining the growth in the sub-region through new technologies, and seeking ways of tackling the challenges in the sector, hence the theme: “Harnessing New
Technologies for Telecom/ICT growth in West Africa.”

The Editor-in-chief of IT & Telecom Digest, Mr. Mkpe Abang said, W.Afri.Tel exhibition and WAFICT Congress would hold from June 2 through 4, 2009 at the Expo Centre and Coral Hall, both at the Oceanview Restaurant, Victoria Island, Lagos.

“This year’s W.Afri.Tel and the WAFICT Congress have a special chapter that will please visitors and delegates; Chief Cornelius Adebayo, former Communications Minister, during whose tenure the most phenomenal growth curves in the Nigerian telecom history took place, will be making a special appearance,” he said.

Abang also said, Adebayo would be joined by other dignitaries and speakers to open the exhibition and conference.

Chief Adebayo, he noted is a highly respected and principled, returned from abroad, only recently to, among other issues of national interest to honour W.Afri.Tel and WAFICT Congress with his presence.

In addition, the W.Afri.Tel conference and WAFICT Congress is Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO).

He recalled that CTO is the international development partnership of Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth governments, businesses and civil society organisations.

“It provides the international community with effective means to bridge the digital divide and achieve social and economic growth, by delivering to developing countries unique knowledge-sharing programmes in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the specific areas of telecommunications, IT, broadcasting and the Internet,” he said.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah’s acceptance to speak at the WAFICT Congress is regarded as an endorsement of the Congress by the CTO as a strong avenue for furthering the ICT growth in the sub-region as a whole.

The CTO itself, he stressed is highly involved in organising ICT events across the length and breadth of the Commonwealth member countries. Widely travelled and highly revered, he has held several important positions in his native country Ghana and has extensive experience on issues of telecommunications, amongst others.

Leading eminent speakers for the Congress, would the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, acclaimed nationally and internationally as Africa’s number one telecom regulator.

Other expected to add colour and excitement to the WAFICT Congress, he said, described as the first of its kind in the sub-region, are Mohamed Jameel, Group Chief Operating Officer of Globacom; Thami Msimango, Chief Executive Officer of Multi-Links Telkom; Wale Goodluck, Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, Ninan Thomas, chief executive officer of Visafone, Harald Braun, chief executive of Harris Stratex, USA; Engr Gbenga Adebayo, President of Association of Licensed Telephone Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and Ms Funke Opeke, chief executive of Main One Cable Company.

Other speakers will include Bernard Forson Jnr. The Director-General of the National Communications Authority of Ghana; Desire Adadja, Minister of ICT, Republic of Benin; Engr Lanre Ajayi, President of the Nigeria Internet Group; Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, President of ATCON; Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman of Zinox Technologies and Paul Usoro (SAN), a respected telecommunications lawyer.

Further on the long list of speakers at WAFICT are Greg Wyler, Founder and CEO of O3b networks; Sean Hsu, CEO of Netcom Africa; Kevin Viret, Regional Director Africa of Yahsat; David Hartshorn, Secretary-General of the Global VSAT Forum; Adrian Woods, former MTN Nigeria CEO and now CEO of Brye Media; Haile M. Kumsa, Dep. MD, (Operations), Africa Reinsurance Corporation, among others.

List of exhibitors to W.Afri.Tel include leading telecoms operators in Nigeria like MTN Nigeria, Globacom, Etisalat, Multi-Links Telkom, Visafone, Simbanet, Simba Industries and MTI Plc. Others are Harris Stratex, ICT Convergence, Anabel Mobile, Helios Towers, Mi-fone, Talia, Galmar, Skylinks, ECAS, Gilat Satcom, Multisource, Lightening Networks and Intex Technologies. 

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