The inaugural West Africa Telecoms Infrastructure Summit and Exhibition (WATISE) centered on addressing the critical need for a robust telecommunications infrastructure within the West African industry. The event, themed “The Future of Infrastructure, Connectivity, and Services: A New Interdependent Ecosystem of Partners,” was organized by TechnologyMirror, an ICT and Telecoms news website, with support from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and IHS Towers Nigeria.
Engr. Spencer Itive, CEO of RS Engineering Global Limited, emphasized in his presentation, “Telecoms Infrastructure Challenges: The Pains of Inter-Related Players of the Ecosystem and the Consumers,” the necessity for governments in the region to prioritize safeguarding telecom infrastructure. He pointed out the government’s history of offering only lip service to the protection of these critical national assets, resulting in recurrent attacks on telecoms infrastructure.
Itive explained that a complex network of partnerships now connects telecom companies, technology giants, governments, and startups, redefining the possibilities in telecommunications. Regarding the future of infrastructure connectivity, he stressed that all stakeholders in the telecoms sector must recognize the interdependence required to meet the multifaceted demands of the digital age.
In a second presentation, Rachael Orumor, CEO of Sens Orbit Nigeria, discussed “Infrastructure Gap: Leveraging Connectivity and Technology to Transform Enterprise and Socio-Economic Life in West Africa.” She highlighted the increasing use of technology by over 20 million businesses across Africa to interact with clients and potential customers. Orumor also emphasized the importance of infrastructure investments, especially in rural areas, to ensure access to education and unlock economic opportunities in an increasingly digital world.
During the panel discussion, Mr. Mike Ofili, CEO of Coloplus, a tower infrastructure company, underscored the challenges faced by operators when expanding into rural areas, including high costs associated with laying fiber cables and navigating the demands of various communities. He also highlighted the concentration of data centers in major cities, particularly Lagos, and the need to address right-of-way charges and security concerns to achieve broader broadband penetration.