Nigeria, others need $100b to provide universal broadband by 2030
For Nigeria and other African countries to achieve universal, affordable and good quality Internet access by 2030, the region will require an investment of over $100 billion.
This was contained in a document presented at the on-going World Bank Group conference in Washington D.C, USA yesterday, which was authored by the Broadband for All Working Group, an arm of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
It called for urgent action to close the Internet access gap, while providing a roadmap to achieve the goal.
Africa with a population of 1.32b as at June, only has about 522.8m people online, while 797.2m are still offline.
Statistics obtained from Internet World Stats showed that between 2000 and 2019, Internet penetration grew to 61.6 per cent in Nigeria, with about 200m people. The country is home to 67 million broadband users, which is 35 per cent penetration.
However, there are still 195 access gaps in Nigeria, which houses some 40 million people that are still without any basic telephony service.
The report gave practical insights and suggestions of the requirements to attain the 2030 objective, including an action plan for universal broadband connectivity in Africa.
It stated that to achieve universal broadband access, African countries would need to engage about 1.1 billion more people online and this would require exceptional and coordinated efforts from governments, the private sector, development partners, and civil society, stressing that the investment would be worth it.
World Bank Vice President for Infrastructure, Makhtar Diop, said: “The digital agenda is first and foremost a growth and jobs agenda. The working-age population in Africa is expected to increase by some 450 million people between 2015 and 2035.