The Nigerian government has signed up for a free, safe Internet for Africa that can close the digital divide and open up new opportunities across the region.
In advocating for this position at the recently concluded Africa Internet Governance Forum at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy Dr. Bosun Tijani stated that the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration is dedicated to fostering the necessary partnerships and international dialogues to accomplish these goals.
The Minister, who spoke to the forum virtually, stated that Nigeria, the largest telecommunications market in Africa, is aware of all the dynamics of new technologies surrounding Internet usage and will continue to collaborate with African nations on various fronts to ensure that the Internet is effectively governed so that its countless resources can be leveraged for the development of its people and country.
The agenda of the present administration in Nigeria places a priority on the necessity for our continued cooperation in order to build our economies jointly. We can close the digital disparities, improve cybersecurity, uphold digital rights, and promote innovation through this type of platform. Therefore, it is up to us all to keep the Internet accessible, secure, and helpful for everyone, Tijani told African lawmakers and other attendees at the meeting in Abuja.
The Minister urged all parties involved to prioritize working cooperatively to develop the policies and strategies that would determine the direction of the Internet in Africa in the future, a direction that will reflect the continent’s common values, aspirations, and diversity.
As this year’s AfIGF was hosted by Nigeria, according to the NCC CEO, the country was focused on exchanging knowledge with other sister countries in Africa as well as learning from the African parliamentarians who attended the forum to advance the ideals of proper Internet resource utilization to advance socioeconomic development on the African continent.
Dr. Mactar Seck, head of the UNECA’s Section on Innovation and Technology, thanked the NCC and all government agencies for their assistance and contribution to the event’s success. He added that through forums like the AfIGF, African countries can continue to pool their perspectives and speak with a unified voice to achieve greater benefits for the continent’s economic development.
“I sincerely thank Prof. Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, who is contributing significantly to the advancement of digital technology in Nigeria. I also thank the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), various sister organizations, and the AfIGF Secretary General for their contributions to the success of the event,” he added.
The Secretary of the African Parliamentary Network on Internet Governance, Honourable Samuel George of Ghana, also made a statement at the week-long event, calling for free Internet “that is inclusive, safe and secured for all citizens of Africa.” He claimed that the best way to accomplish this is to work together to create an inclusive Africa.
“Africa must establish appropriate laws, regulations, and digital infrastructures to support young innovators in their endeavors if it is to become self-sufficient. According to George, this will encourage the growth of indigenous and local content in technological advancement.
The Transforming Africa’s Digital Landscape: Empowering Inclusion, Security and Innovation was the focus of this year’s AfIGF, which was held in Abuja at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton and offered African nations yet another genuine forum to discuss pertinent issues that will help the continent’s digital economy grow more firmly.
Danbatta asked the participants to ensure successful implementations when they return to their various nations in advance of the conference the following year based on the communique that was released following the event and outlining the resolutions and specific suggestions made there.
The 11th Africa School of Internet Governance (AfriSIG), organized by the Association for Progressive Communications, the Africa Union, Research ICT Africa, the Africa Parliamentary Track, the United Nations-IGF Secretariat, and the Africa Youth IGF, took place from September 13–18, 2023, prior to the AfIGF, which ran from September 19–23, 2023.