South Africa as a Host Country

Why is the country hosting the conference this year, what do we aim to achieve?


Hosting the ITU Telecom World 2018 conference was prompted by the statement made by Dr Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele, South Africa's Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, expressing his country's willingness to host the event at the ITU Telecom World 2017. The Minister said “There are many interesting and exciting innovations taking place in Africa as such South Africa believe that hosting ITU Telecom World in Africa 2018 will open up a wide range of possibilities for investment, trade and partnerships between African countries and the global ICT community.” The Minister further said that “2018 will continue to act as the international platform connecting tech small and medium enterprises (SMEs) together with governments and corporates attracting member states, regulators, and heads of international organizations, global media, digital experts and visionaries, leading ICT corporations and cutting-edge tech SMEs from the region and across the globe.”


The statement added, "The ITU World Telecom and Exhibition Conference has never been held on the African continent. The government believes hosting the conference on the continent will increase the participation of other African countries, thereby increasing the possibilities of investment in ICT on the continent."

The annual conference attracts government and industry leaders to explore and identify investment opportunities and best practices for socio-economic development through ICT.  

As the conference increasingly focuses on small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs), South African government hopes that hosting the event will underline the innovations of ICT SMMEs on the continent, according to the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Service..

  • First time it is hosted on the African Continent;
  • Position South Africa as the leading hub for ICT innovation, business, and research in Africa;
  • Position South Africa as one of the world’s leading conference and tourism destinations;
  • Opportunity to promote positive narrative about South Africa to global audience and as an ICT investment destination;
  • Create real opportunities for long term partnerships for development in the ICT sector and re-invigorate existing programmes; and
  • Provide a global platform for innovators and SMEs/SMMEs to gain exposure to international investors and partners.


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ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.

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