TO deepen the penetration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and grow the economy in Nigeria and other African countries, the need to get the power sector running and running efficiently has been stressed.
Besides, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government must also enforce the adoption of ICT among departments and units.
This was part of the recommendations of the first Africa ICT Alliance, (AfICTA) CEO Roundtable, held in Abuja, last week. The meeting had in attendance 30 Chief Executive Officers from leading ICT firms and parastatals from Africa, with the theme: “Mobilizing African Business Leaders for the future of the Internet”
In the communiqué, they advised that government at every levels of governance placed a renewed confidence on SMEs to grow the economy by providing enabling environment, especially through policies to grow the ICT sector of the economy.
According to them, Nigeria should shift from a ‘Consumer State’ to Production of ICT solutions, since research showed that SMEs in low e-friction countries, which embrace e-solutions, could increase revenue growth by seven per cent.
They noted that these SMEs are 50 per cent more likely to be exporters of goods and services and 63 per cent more likely to source inputs internationally.
AfiCTA reminded the government that ICT, as an economic sector and enabler should be appropriately captured in the computation of national GDPs.
According to the communiqué signed on behalf of the meeting by both Dr. Sola Afolabi and Dr. Jimson Olufuye, AfiCTA noted that every effort be made by African Government to improve infrastructural development for business to thrive.
They posited that infrastructure peculiar to ICT business includes power, broadband access, Internet Exchange Points.
According to them, operation of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) should be SMART to assure empowered citizens.
“That Internet penetration can only be meaningful if there is adequate bandwidth to users hence NigComSat, NCC, MainOne and other stakeholders be encouraged to provide necessary last mile broadband deployment, to guaranty a connected Nigeria”, they stated.
According to them, power stability gives positive multiplier effect on the economy, therefore, efforts should be made to stabilize the power sector for 24/7 power supply.
The meeting observed that the multi-stakeholder approach to Internet Governance (IG) is the best model to assure a stable and sustained IG ecosystem, in which AfICTA fully support.
Besides, AfICTA said it supports the current Cross-Constituency Working Group (CCWG)-Stewardship proposal on IANA Oversight transition and remained committed to continuous engagement in the Business Constituency of ICANN and the International Chamber of Commerce Business Action in Support of the Information Society (ICC-BASIS).
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