U.S. senator seeks expansion of Internet access in Africa
For Africa to achieve its digital literacy, the need for faster Internet access is very key. These were words of United States Senator and a ranking Democratic Party member, Edward Markey, who led a congressional delegation to Lagos over the weekend.
He warned that Nigeria must not make the same mistake his home country made with the Internet. “Africa missed revolution; we must ensure Africa does not miss digital revolution. We are here to help Nigeria achieve its digital goal,” he stated.
Markey, a member of the Africa and global health policy subcommittee of the US senate foreign relations committee, said Nigeria has to work to better Kenya, which has 3.8 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) coming directly from the Internet.
He said for every 10 per cent increase in Internet penetration, there is a direct two percent growth in GDP, adding that Nigeria, having missed the industrial revolution, must not miss the broadband revolution.
Markey said Nigeria must make tax policies to drive Internet penetration.
He disclosed that the delegation also met with Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to discuss how public-private partnerships in the areas of technology and infrastructure can promote economic growth and development.
Markey stressed that Internet connectivity and successful economic development are inseparably linked in the 21st century’s global economy.
“It will be the entrepreneurial and creative attitude of the people in Nigeria and across the African continent that will be the key to overcoming challenges to connectivity,” he said.
“You all embody the vibrant spirit that is the heart of the Internet. You will be digital ambassadors in bringing more connectivity to this great country and the region.”
Also speaking at the event, Chief Executive Officer, Mainone, Ms. Funke Opeke, noted that the resources available to the country is shrinking.
To achieve diversification goal of the Federal Government, she said, there is need to drive the growth through technology. It is proven in many economies that Internet brings power to the economy with integrated growth and expansion.
She stated that Internet is the necessary thing we need to expand the eceonomy.