Ericsson joins the SMART Africa Alliance as technical advisor to advance Africa through ICT. Ericsson to work closely with Member States and private sector agencies to scope the roadmap and implement solutions for a fully knowledge-sharing Africa. New agreement follows Ericsson’s partnership with Rwanda on the implementation of the SMART Rwanda Master Plan, also aligned to the principles of the Smart Africa Manifesto.

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and the SMART Africa Secretariat have entered an ICT-based partnership to develop a more connected and fully functioning knowledge-based society in Africa.

As a result of the partnership, Ericsson joins the Smart Africa Alliance as technical advisor and platinum private sector member collaborating with the Alliance to craft blue prints supporting the implementation of the SMART Africa vision and plan.

Established in 2013, SMART Africa is a bold and innovative commitment to accelerate sustainable socioeconomic development on the continent and usher Africa into the knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and usage of ICT.

This announcement follows the collaboration with the Government of Rwanda on key projects in the financial, transport, utilities and public safety and security sectors, founded on the Smart Rwanda Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2014. The development of a smart city in Kigali, part of the Smart Rwanda initiative, aims to become a world-class reference model project for the Smart Africa Alliance.

Speaking about the partnership, Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Region, Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, said: "We are honoured and excited about working with various African countries to enable an information-rich and knowledge-based society. Our experience working on Smart Rwanda has provided an excellent platform to replicate and tailor similar solutions for other Member States and Governments. ICT will change cities, countries and industries and ultimately lead to a truly Networked Society in Africa.”

The Smart Africa Initiative is geared towards connecting, innovating and transforming the continent into a knowledge economy thereby driving global competitiveness and job creation. The initiative also aims at enabling Member States to become more competitive, agile, open and innovative smart economies with the most favorable business climates that attracts large-scale investments, rewards entrepreneurship and enables fast growth and exports, leveraging ICT innovations to transform African nations into smart societies.

Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Executive Director of Smart Africa Secretariat said: “Since inception of the Smart Africa Alliance one of our main principles has centred on the critical need to create an enabling environment for private sector involvement. We realize that economic transformation must be driven by private companies focused on the use of ICT to increase access to markets and information for business.”

“Ericsson has proved to be an outstanding partner to help us drive these goals forward through increasing job creation, productivity and competitiveness supported by their world class technology and unique ability to adapt these solutions for the African continent.”

Notes to editors

About Smart Africa

SMART Africa is a bold and innovative commitment from African Heads of State and Government to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge economy through affordable access to Broadband and usage of Information and Communications Technologies.

The Smart Africa Manifesto aims to put ICT at the center of National Socio-economic development agenda of member countries; improve access to ICT especially Broadband; to improve accountability, efficiency and openness through ICT promoting the introduction of advanced technologies in telecommunication; to put Private Sector first; and to leverage ICT to promote sustainable development.

Founded in 2013, the Smart Africa is headquartered in Kigali. Smart Africa founding members include African Member States, the African Union Commission, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), GSM Alliance (GSMA), ICANN, African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and NEPAD.

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