Satellite connectivity driving socio-economic growth in Africa


To sustain socio-economic growth and development, people need to be connected. This is important to communities based in remote regions, and to individuals, businesses, NGOs and governments in growing metropolitan cities. And, with Africa home to three of the fastest growing economics in the world, the need to support on the rapid deployment of connectivity is even more essential.

One such technology that is driving growth across the African digital economy is satellite communication. Since African satellite communication services were introduced over a decade ago, they have been responsible for numerous economical and societal benefits across schools, medical centres, commerce and banking in addition to many other sectors.

In fact, there is a significant correlation between investment in satellite broadband connectivity and the growth in economic activity. According to World Bank research for every 10 per cent increase in broadband connectivity, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of developing nations rises by 1.38 per cent. It is therefore safe to say that the socio-economic development of developing countries can greatly improve with inclusive access to communication networks.

Therefore, increased access to satellite broadband communications including for the most remote parts of the world can help communities take a giant leap forward whilst also creating a level playing ground for everyone to achieve social development regardless of the location.

While it is clear that satellite broadband communications is essential, the African continent is still in need of satellite broadband penetration – specifically high performance broadband such as the new generation of Ka Band technology that is not subjected to the costs and physical limitations faced by the cable-based systems.

Broadband powered by satellites reaches users in the remotest parts of the continent and facilitates social development unparalleled in the history of Africa. In full realisation of this need, YahClick, the leading Ka-band satellite broadband service provided by Yahsat, the United Arab Emirates’ satellite operator, has made Africa a high-priority market.

We firmly believe that the collaboration between governments, technology partners and businesses is the key to unleashing the dynamics of connectivity and ushering Africa into the age of knowledge revolution. This is the reason why we are constantly working with in-country partners across the continent to deliver tailored solutions to even the most rural of households.

As part of our work, we have collaborated with numerous organisations across Africa in countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan, where various projects have been executed in partnership with service partners and government agencies.Khan is the Chief Commercial Officer, Yahsat

Such projects include the provision of connectivity to remote libraries in South Africa, connecting over 200 schools in 15 counties across Kenya and more than 90 schools in Nigeria as well as connecting healthcare facilities in Kenya’s Kiambu County, to provide cost-effective care to over 10,000 patients daily.

Through satellite communications we are changing for the better the way children receive education; how healthcare is delivered to patients, and how government services are provided to citizens. We are proud to witness first-hand how connectivity is improving the quality of lives in these communities. With the impending launch of our third satellite – Al Yah 3, we will increase our existing presence in Africa and serve more home and business users, as well as government entities and non-governmental organisations.

The existing gap in the provision of satellite powered broadband technology that is unencumbered by the limitations of older systems will soon become history. Satellite broadband technology’s impact is far-reaching and can actually put businesses and governments in emerging markets on an equal footing to their contemporaries in other parts of the world.

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