Africa Must Prioritize Investment In Digital Infrastructure Says House of Reps’ Speaker
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Abbas Tajudeen has called for more investments in Africa’s digital infrastructure noting that the continent is capturing only a fraction of its digital economic potential.
Hon Abbas made the call on Wednesday, at the 12th Africa Internet Governance Forum organized by the Ministry of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy.
The Speaker was represented at the event by the House Committee Chairman on ICT and Cyber Security, Hon Adedeji Olajide Stanley, a member representing Ibadan Northwest/ Southwest Federal Constituency.
Speaking at the event, the Speaker noted that the theme of this year’s forum is both timely and relevant in today’s interconnected world adding that digital technologies have become an integral part of our daily lives, transforming various sectors and industries.
Speaking further, Hon Abbas stated that the internet in particular has revolutionized communication, commerce, education, healthcare, and governance.
His words: “I’m delighted to be with you at this very important event of the 12th Africa Internet Governance Forum and to thank the Ministry of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy for this initiative.
“Africa has experienced significant growth in internet penetration over the past decades. With these opportunities, some challenges must be addressed to ensure a safe, secure, and inclusive digital environment for all Africans.
“While some regions have access to high-speed internet and advanced digital infrastructure, others still lack basic connectivity. This disparity hinders equal access to information, education, healthcare services, and economic opportunities.”
The speaker, however, said to bridge the gap, Africa must prioritize investment in digital infrastructure and connectivity across Africa. He urged governments to work hand in hand with private sector players to expand broadband coverage, improve network quality, and reduce costs.
He stressed that there should be a policy targeted at promoting digital literacy and skills development to empower individuals and communities to fully participate in the digital economy.
He added that Africa Must address the issue of cybersecurity saying cyberattacks can have devastating consequences for individuals businesses and even national security.
“As Representatives of the people, the House of Representatives has enacted laws to address cyber-related crimes to ensure the protection of online privacy, data security, and digital rights.” Hon Tajudeen said.