Nairobi, Sep 29 : Ahead of the India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi in October, India launched the first Indo-Africa ICT Expo here in the Kenyan capital under the theme of "India: Your Partner for Technology Next".
The event, on September 28-29, 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).
The event, inaugurated by Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary of Kenya and Rakesh Garg, Secretary Telecom of India, was attended by various officials and business leaders from India, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Sudan.
"We have got a lot of experience in policies, networks/technology, skill development and innovative solutions using ICT to share with Africa," said Garg.
"We see opportunities for cooperation and our government is keen to encourage business activities between India and Africa," Garg said.
Over 300 technology companies from India and Africa are showing their latest products and solutions at this expo-cum-conference. The cost of the event is one crore, partially sponsored by Indian government.
"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.
The expo is a platform to build synergy among India and African countries to showcase innovative and diversified products and services. It is a platform to discuss solutions to regulatory business, according to Akansha Tete, director of global trade development at NASSCOM India.
"As digitalisation and mobility continue to transform business operations and everyday life, the expo presents the latest technologies that help companies to evolve and maintain a competitive edge in the communication and digital world," she said.
This cements the relationship between India and Africa in the development of ICT, Julius Torach, deputy director of ICT ministry Uganda, said.
"For example, we have had telecommunications project from Tele Medicine and Tele Education implemented in Uganda. We have had delegations going to India on business process outsourcing (BPO) linkages. This kind of environment gives us an opportunity to promote trade relations between India and Africa," Torach told IANS.
"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."
The organisers are planning to make the Indo-Africa ICT Expo an annual programme by hosting it in different parts of Africa and India.
(Hadra Ahmed can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)