Secretary-General to the International Telecommunications Union, the person of Houlin Zhao, has made a call to all governments in Africa to channel more investments into tech startups who are mainly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), for the need of fast-tracking the digital transformation of the continent.
Zhao made this call during the closing press conference at the just concluded ITU Telecoms World 2018 which was held in Durban South Africa. He said that ITU has long realized that SMEs are essential, even though they don’t have financial strengths in their early stages of development. He disclosed that the platform has decided to shift focus to SMEs, which he said, remained strong drivers of digital revolution of any nation if given the proper government support.
Zhao called on the entirety of African governments to consider pumping more investments into SMEs to enable them to secure the necessary support that would propel them into creating disruptive solutions that would address specific organizational, individual and national issues.
Zhao said that: “Since ITU incepted in 1865 in Europe, its focus has not been on SMEs, but this year, we decided to have a shed our limelight on SMEs, which mainly comprise young people using technology to not only disrupt the existing business practices but to as well create solutions that address specific challenges”.
According to him, SMEs, in spite of their not-yet-string waxing in finance at their formative stages, can turn out to economy drivers, because they are the digital natives that have a better understanding of technology.
In an equal way, Zhao called on global leaders to give exposure to their various SMEs by sponsoring them to attend ITU conferences where they will be provided opportunities to showcase their solutions to the entire world.