Opening speech of ANGOTIC 2023, by His Excellence João Lourenço, President of Republic of Angola, Luanda 12th June 2023

-Minister of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication;

-Mister Governor of the Province of Luanda;

– Ladies and Gentlemen;

 -Dear Guests.

I would like to express our enormous satisfaction with the fact that such illustrious figures from the world of Telecommunications, Information and Communication Technologies have accepted our invitation to honor, with their presence, ANGOTIC – Angola ICT Forum 2023. who have traveled from afar, send our warm welcome and hope that you will feel at home while you are with us. ANGOTIC returns to the national and international technological scene after the interregnum caused by the Covid 19 pandemic that paralyzed the world, so we salute everyone who contributed to its realization. I hope that all participants, including sponsors, exhibiting companies, students and visitors, can make the most of it for the benefit of your companies and, consequently, for the benefit of the national economy. Although mineral resources, oil and gas continue to be relevant to sustain the development of our economy, we are experiencing a new paradigm with prospects for growth in the non-oil economy where the private sector is the main actor. The commitment to diversifying the economy and national production is beginning to bear fruit. The Telecommunications, Information and Communication Technologies sector is called upon to play the role reserved for it as a lever for the technological modernization of our industry and, as a consequence, provide the economic and social growth expected and desired by all Angolans.

I would like to highlight the importance of broadband networks which, once supported by a robust electronic communications network, become a fundamental tool that guarantees citizens and society access to the services of the so-called information society, namely telemedicine, teaching distance, electronic governance and other associated services, contributing to the improvement of health indicators, education, social inclusion, food security, gender equality, as well as the fight against hunger and poverty, thus guaranteeing the sustainable development of the country. We share the vision of the International Telecommunication Union, of which we are a member, which in its latest report on the costs of accessing Telecommunications services and Information and Communication Technologies for 2022, highlights the need for Internet costs and expansion to be within the reach of as many citizens of the world as possible, if possible for everyone. For this reason, we are delighted that the efforts we have been undertaking in this field in the country are recognized by the Broadband Commission, a partnership between the ITU and UNESCO, which in its latest report places our country among those close to to reach the goal established globally, towards digital inclusion. To this end, the efforts made in the field of infrastructure, connectivity and digital inclusion, one of the lines of action that the Executive established in the White Paper on Telecommunications, Information and Communication Technologies 2019-2020, greatly contributed.

 Ladies and  Gentlemen

The Telecommunications, Information and Communication Technologies sector in the country is experiencing rapid growth, judging by the latest completed projects and others in technical preparation, from which we highlight the construction and placement into orbit of the Angosat2 communications satellite, which is part of the National Space Programme, land and underwater fiber optic connections to Cabinda, work in progress with a view to starting construction of an Earth observation satellite, the expansion project for the National Broadband Network in Optical Fiber, the Terrestrial Digital Television, participation in the 2-Africa international fiber optic submarine cable consortium, accompanied by an increase in training programs for our young staff. From the point of view of the growth of mobile telephony and internet networks and subscribers, and taking the period from 2021 to the 1st quarter of the current year as a reference, I highlight:

– 55% growth in the mobile phone service; – a penetration rate of 71%, which represents a growth of 49.5%; – a 20% internet access growth rate. On the other hand, and following the actions that the sector has been developing to support the productive and social sector, I would like to highlight the use of satellite images to support agriculture, oil production, land use planning, the mining sector, the environment, migratory control along our borders, as well as the study of solutions that can mitigate the problem of drought that cyclically devastates the south of the country, in particular the provinces of Cunene, Namibe and Huíla. In the remaining pillars of the White Paper, namely the technological modernization of public administration, regulation and innovation, it should be noted that, as a result of a strong partnership with the private sector, we managed to achieve a significant evolution in the use of digital services, from industry to commerce, banking, insurance, energy, health, with these sectors being increasingly led by companies with a strong focus on the digital economy. In order to guarantee the security of our networks and, with this, guarantee a safe and robust telecommunications and information technology service in defense of our users and services, we started a program that will culminate in the installation of an Academy of Cybersecurity, as well as the creation of regulatory conditions for the use of telecommunications networks.

In partnership with the other interested parties, we redoubled efforts in the field of guaranteeing trust and security in the use of service networks with a focus on the protection and defense of critical infrastructures and vital information services, as well as promoting free, safe use and efficient use of cyberspace by public and private entities. In the field of innovation, I highlight the emergence of very dynamic and successful digital start-ups, which proves the strength of the Angolan youth entrepreneurship ecosystem, which has already received several international awards for the degree of innovation and impact achieved on the economy and, equally, to show how committed our youth is to contributing with their knowledge, intelligence and dedication to the development of our country. In this digital era, communication and information technologies have evolved a lot and have made powerful tools available to users, such as tablets and smart phones, on which the so-called digital platforms are based. All these means and technological resources, by making a mobile phone, a simple mobile phone, a true mobile office communicable with the world at the click of a button, make them an important tool for work, research, investigation, communication between people, companies and institutions, cultural and scientific exchange. But as there is no beauty without a flaw, they can also be used for malevolent and even criminal purposes, to denigrate the good name and honor of people, organizations and institutions, to serve organized crime, to organize rebellions, riots and coups d’état.

The problem is not in digital platforms, technologies, software and applications, it is in the good or bad use given by users, who must be educated from an early age that a tool made to produce wealth and knowledge, build peace and harmony, unfortunately that same tool can also be used to destroy, to divide, to sow discord, to create chaos, depending only on our attitude as active or passive users. Our young people are what we hold dearest, most valuable for the present and future of our country. We will permanently work on their moral and civic education, for the need to defend the noblest values of our culture and Christian civilization, for the need for respect for the family, the neighbor, the child and the elderly, the national symbols and the Homeland. The internet, digital platforms, social networks, must be used above all for our academic, cultural and professional improvement, or to start and promote our businesses. We therefore appeal to our young people not to waste their precious time with negative things, with the propagation of rumors, intentionally forged lies, political intolerance and hatred.

That political parties refrain from radicalizing young people using them as weapons to throw at their political opponents and, much less, against the homeland. My Ladies, My Gentlemen I declare this magnificent event open, hoping that it will achieve its purpose of becoming a regional and global platform for the exchange of experiences, reinforcement and construction of new contact and business networks, which are capable of enhancing the advantages inherent in the existence of African Free Trade Area, capable of making a decisive contribution to making our personal and professional lives better, and societies more organized and developed. 

Thank you very much

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