Enabling Progress through Wireless Broadband in Africa – A personal account of a door opener technology and its growing effect on education

by Giora Levi, CEO, Alvarion

Giora

 

It was Confucius, the great political educator who said: “If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.” In an era in which education has been set free by Internet access, Broadband is opening the door to education in Africa and throughout its rural areas in particular. Only through investments in education and knowledge will it be possible to overcome global inequality. The influence of the internet in this connection is pivotal to enable both education and the resulting progress that will follow. Although I have always made a point of being familiar with the African market, the effect of wireless broadband on this immense and diverse continent is still astounding. For me, living in a globalized community in which everyone – and everything – is easily connected and accessible, has simply become a fact of life over these years. In Africa, the progression of connectivity has taken a very different path due to its vast population and size, and mainly a result of the huge disparities between its many cultures, governments and policies. As a result, Africa has developed high mobile broadband penetration rates in certain areas, whereas others continue to exhibit digital illiteracy and under-developed infrastructures that are essential to progress. Despite that fact that Africa is home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world, only 7% of the continent’s inhabitants are online. The Internet’s limited reach is further compounded because the language of the web is English and mobile connectivity is limited as only 18% of Africa’s mobiles are smartphones. The continent’s large population also means there are vast regional differences in access to broadband and in areas with low usage and penetration rates, there are those who will be blocked from access to and participation in many of the opportunities that those in other countries take for granted. For these reasons and more, Africa has become a major focal point for numerous organizations dedicated to promoting connectivity as a means to catalyze general access to information, economic growth and widespread education.

Appointed in 2013, Giora Levi is managing Alvarion’s activities worldwide. With over 15 years of experience in leading management roles with international companies, Giora provides unmatched leadership experience for Alvarion Technologies. Before Joining Alvarion, Giora lead the global operations of Ness Technologies, A global provider of IT services. Leading over 130 employees worldwide, including Romania, Giora managed over Quarter of a Billion Dollar of annual budget. Giora Levi is a Lieutenant-Colonel (Reserve) in the IDF, with over a decade of experience in command roles in an elite combat Unit. Giora participated in management education programs at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France and the Fortune Group International Inc in the USA In addition to leading Alvarion, Giora is the General Manager of Mobile Tornado, a provider of advanced instant communication solutions such as Push-To-Talk, Push-To-Alert, and Push-To-Locate. In this role, Giora is leading mobile Tornado’s growing business, as the company’s solutions are used by mobile operators worldwide, including Rom-Telecom, to replace soon to be obsolete iDEN and other radio solutions. Managing the two companies in parallel, Giora optimizes the synergy between them, offering not only the best Push-To-Talk solution in the world for 3G/4G cellular networks, but also the state-of-the-art wireless infrastructure to support it.

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