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Nokia Siemens Networks and Nokia strengthen commitment to the African region

Companies present mobile health data survey tool and Village Connection initiative in the EU-Africa Business Forum

(PresseBox) (Espoo, ) At the EU-Africa Business Forum held in Accra, Ghana Nokia Siemens Networks and Nokia reiterated the companies' commitment and strategic direction in the African region. With a vision to increase communications access to urban and rural areas, the two companies are set to connect the people of Africa.

Organized by the European Commission and the African Union under the patronage of Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, the Forum continues the vital dialogue between businesses and governments on the socioeconomic impact of corporate activities in the development and lives of Africans. Participants in this year's summit include the African Union, African telecommunications ministries and national regulators.

In the Forum, Nokia showcases a mobile health data survey tool that has been developed with the University of Nairobi and other partners. This type of application can have huge potential in addressing, for example, outbreaks of diseases, offering benefits to governments and aid agencies.

Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks also present the Village Connection solution at the event. Village Connection offers an easy concept to build rural connectivity village by village, enabling an innovative franchise-based business model between an operator and local village entrepreneurs. The solution helps provide affordable telecommunications services in rural communities, thus boosting economic development.

"Nokia has a long-term commitment to an active and responsible collaboration between the European Union and the African continent. We believe that small, medium and large businesses in Europe as well as European governmental bodies and institutions all have an important role in the sustainable co-development of the African region," says Serge Ferré, Head of EU Representative Office, Nokia.

"Telecommunications infrastructure plays a crucial role in the overall economic development of nations. Further developing telecommunications systems not only helps grow businesses, but also has great potential to help improve basic life needs such as health care and education. It can also ease access to banking services including micro-payments, and makes access to information easier, thus enabling people to take part in decision-making and development of the communities," says Antti Räikkönen, Head of Strategy, Southern Africa, Nokia Siemens Networks, who is co-chair of the Inter-connectivity working group in the Forum.

Jan Cron, Head of the Middle East and Africa region for Nokia Siemens Networks, says, "We believe that the future of the communications industry lies in understanding and uniting communities. By 2015 we expect five billion people will be connected by wire and wirelessly from one end of the planet to the other, and the clear majority of these people will come from new growth markets in Asia and Africa. Investing in mobile networks promotes sustainable economic development and can for example provide first time access to the Internet to everyone."

Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks are committed to enabling communications in communities across the world. Advanced and energy-efficient communications technology can play a significant role in creating a sustainable future, maintain opportunities for economic welfare and growth, and reduce adverse environmental impacts. Nokia Siemens Networks' environmentally sustainable business approach has a key role in its network products and solutions.

About Nokia Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. Nokia makes a wide range of mobile devices and provides people with experiences in music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games and business mobility through these devices. Nokia also provides equipment, solutions and services for communications networks.