Research Manager


Naila is the Operation Director at Research ICT Africa (RIA). She manages projects funded by IDRC, SIDA and MDF and consulting projects that have been commissioned by the African Development Bank, British High Commission, the National Planning Commission of South Africa, Microsoft, Facebook, the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The geographic scope of these projects is sub-Saharan Africa and the core of the research is to provide evidence-based research to influence changes or re-drafting of ICT policy and regulations. The topics vary from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, to Digital Economy, Artificial Intelligence, Digital/Future of Work, Digital Identity, Cybersecurity and Open telecommunication. In 2021, Naila completed the online course on the Telecommunications Policy, Regulation and Management hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand.  Prior to joining RIA, Naila was employed by Frost & Sullivan as Senior Industry Analyst for the ICT sector. Naila worked on projects that focused on market analysis and sizing; competitive and strategic analysis; market entry strategies; commercial due diligence; and analysing the regulatory framework at country level. The geographic scope of these projects was the sub-Saharan African countries. She completed a project highlighting the regulatory changes in the South African ICT landscape while determining opportunities for the communication service providers. Other projects included: 5G Opportunities for the Middle East Region, the objective of which was to highlight the key cases that can beneficiate from a 5G network; African ICT Infrastructure Evolution, which provided a deeper understanding of the leading trends in the fibre, data centre and tower markets across South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania. This project also entailed the development of an infrastructure investment model to understand the magnitude of funds required to increase connectivity reach. Other projects were also around the commercial due diligence analysis for cloud computing market in West Africa, and a merger or acquisition opportunity in Nigeria within the IPTV market.  Naila is fluent in English, Portuguese and Gujarati.

By Naila Govan-Vassen