By Mercy Ovave
The Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta and other industry experts from across the world yesterday converge on Abuja to brainstorm on the need for more internet penetration for digital transformation in Africa.
The meeting was a policy workshop aimed at discussing issues, policies that drive capacity building for the entire African Continent.
Speaking at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Annual Regional Workshop, Prof. Danbatta said, “the whole idea of this workshop revolves around making sure there is internet connectivity that is equitable”.
“In Nigeria, we have 774 local governments with a population of close to 200 million. So, the whole essence of this function, is to look at various scenarios in various parts of the African Continent and come up with enduring solution of how we can facilitate internet connectivity. The connectivity is key to empowering our students socially and economically and it is what will aid our digital transformation drive. We need to examine policies that are in place and change those policies with a view to making them more impactful”, he said.
The NCC boss said, “communications and internet evolved separately but are now converging, and has given rise to ICT-the digital transformation eco-system which is synonymous with social and economic transformation”.
He said, “the fourth industrial revolution, the previous revolutions did not witness the full involvement of the African Continent. So, the Continent is trying to make sure it is not left out in benefiting from the various important features of the upcoming fourth industrial revolution.
While we’re doing this we take cognisance of the digital economy eco-system. How do we generate that critical mass of ICT adoption and use, so that by so doing, we can increase internet penetration, broadband penetration and mobile voice penetration.
Also speaking at the event, the representative of ITU Regional Director for Africa, Marcelino Taylor said, ”ICT and internet have changed the way we live, work, study and entertain ourselves. The internet is present practically in all sectors of the economy and the society. It is the foundation for digital economies. Many of our countries have already embarked in developing their digital economies, and have recognize the role ICT can play to accelerate it”.
He said, the workshop differs from the ones held in the past in the sense that it is a combination of the internet governance training and annual workshop.
On his part, the Administrator,
Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Ike Adinde said, ”a lot of young people are in the ICT space and the Institute has harness that opportunity by offering them opportunity in the ICT space. The future is ICT, the more skills they have, the better for the economy”, he said.