Etisalat has set out its vision for creating an appropriate investment environment to enable information and communication technology to drive economic growth.

Speaking in the World Economic Forum for Africa in Addis Ababa this week, Etisalat chairman Mohammed Omran said: “Investment in ICT, coupled with an appropriate regulatory environment, has a multiplier effect that accelerates socio-economic growth, GDP and employment.

“Etisalat’s successful strategy means that we can give the unconnected access to innovative solutions that can transform emerging African markets and help drive dynamic growth in healthcare, financial services and education.”

He also pointed to Etisalat’s successful experience of bringing innovative services to the many markets in which it operates on the African continent that have enabled communities to transform their economies.

“Economic growth potential can be achieved by setting aside short term gain for long term growth and through developing an appropriate policy ecosystem that encourages foreign investment in telecommunications infrastructure and maximizes competitive advantage,” he said.

Recent studies by the GSMA and by Booz & Co show that nearly 500 000 new jobs will be created before 2025 through the adoption of cohesive and integrated national ICT policies.

Omran added: “The vision of a diversified knowledge economy needs a buoyant and innovative ICT sector. In emerging African markets, we need to provide mobile broadband connectivity and innovative services like mobile commerce to give the unbanked and under-banked the opportunity to trade and create micro-economies.

“The principle of mobile broadband for all also means that we can give the unconnected access to e-education tools and online learning to train the new generation in the jobs of the future, and help drive dynamic growth and labour productivity.  Africa has a right to play and the potential to win and it is now the responsibility and prerogative of all to help Africa to achieve its potential.”