THE Minister of Communications, Barr Adebayo Shittu, has said the greatest challenge to socio-economic development in Africa was the huge ICT infrastructure deficit across various countries in the continent, adding that the huge deficit has greatly impacted the living condition and welfare of Africans with various countries initiating policies and programmes to reduce the deficit.
He stated this recently at the Future-Sat Africa Summit 2017, held in Abuja where he noted that most economies across the globe are becoming knowledge-based with information and communication technology playing a pivotal role as central drivers of the globalisation process.
The Minister represented by the Permanent Secretary, Arc Sonny Echono, re-emphasised that the cardinal objective for ICT development in Nigeria was to provide a ubiquitous, robust and cost-effective ICT infrastructure to support the creation of a digital economy. In this regard, the National ICT Roadmap 2017-2020 has recently been approved by government.
Shittu challenged the organisers of the Future-Sat Africa Summit 2017 to “Pay deliberate attention to issues around technology transfer and capacity development”, so that Africa would have a fair share of the business opportunities provided by telecommunication infrastructure development.
The theme for this year’s Summit, “Smarter networks” which the minister described as timely, and ideas generated from this summit would serve as input into Government various policy review processes, such as the National ICT Policy and the National Broadband strategy review process which will commence before the end of this year.