Business leaders and governments alike have tried to tackle the quality of life issue that affects so many African countries. It’s a task with no simple solutions, so those same problem solvers are looking to new methods, like technology. Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos is one of those people, and believes that technology can bridge divides in society that will improve life for all Africans. At the “Africa and Emerging Technology” conference, hosted by the European Parliament, Isabel dos says about the many ways African countries can improve their infrastructure. Unitel, the company that she chairs, is now the mobile services provider of choice for all of Angola.
That opened doors to working opportunities with telecommunications companies throughout Africa. This made her familiar with the state of its data infrastructure, and that informed projects to install cell phone towers. Now mobile and internet connections are more reliable than ever. Now, whether someone lives in the city or in a rural community, communication is less of a challenge. She sees that as a the best time to pivot towards her big endeavor. As Unitel grows, she wants to make an aggressive push for e-commerce. This isn’t just about making online shopping more common, but giving people more access to their first bank account through the internet.
But goals need plans, and Isabel dos Santos addressed that in her talk. Modernizing African cities is a possibility, and she sees it as one that brings public transportation to its full potential, helps distributions better supply businesses, and a community engaged in the health of their surrounding environment. Having an entrepreneurial career that’s taken her from telecommunication to finance, Isabel dos Santos formed her business opinions about technology through experience. Now she’s partnering up with Google. Through Unitel, they’ll be setting fiber optic cables under water, in Angola and throughout Africa. This won’t just bolster existing internet connections but help Africa establish solid connections with Europe, Asia and beyond. With the help of technology, Isabel dos Santos sees a future Africa with a stronger data infrastructure, one that betters communication and data transfer but also makes Africa a more consequential figure on the business world stage.