Africa devises common strategy to boost internet connection

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Pupils in Mozambique enjoyed free Internet connections provided by Viettel?s Movitel. ?
? ? Pupils in Mozambique enjoyed free Internet connections provided by Viettel?s Movitel. ?
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Sub-Saharan African countries have agreed on harmonization of policy and regulatory frameworks to expand internet connection and accelerate growth of knowledge- based economy.

Pupils in Mozambique enjoyed free Internet connections provided by Viettel?s Movitel. ?

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Pupils in Mozambique enjoyed free Internet connections provided by Viettel?s Movitel.
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Policymakers, regulators and experts who met at the 10th African spectrum management forum in Nairobi, agreed late on Wednesday that a joint approach was needed to bridge the continent’s digital divide.
Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Fred Matiang’i in his opening remarks noted that Africa is the new frontier for rapid connectivity thanks to government incentives.
“African countries have committed massive resources to expand internet access to citizens. We should therefore promote sound management of digital infrastructure to achieve economic growth while strengthening national security and public safety,” Matiang’i said.
Africa governments have commenced dialogue to address bottlenecks that have derailed access to high speed internet connections. The CS noted there is political goodwill in many African countries to bridge a gaping digital divide.
“Many African states have sought homegrown solutions to expand internet access. Governments have encouraged private sector led investments in digital infrastructure,” he said.
The East African nation has developed a national broadband strategy that seeks to stimulate policy debate on achieving universal connectivity. Matiang’i said the implementation of the broadband strategy is on course to accelerate the transition to a knowledge based economy.
“The Kenyan government is committed to digital inclusion to help address poverty, illiteracy, national disasters and insecurity,” Matiang’i told African policymakers, adding that African governments should explore strategic partnership with industry to scale up investments in high speed internet connection.
Abdulkarim Soumaila, Secretary General with African Telecommunications Union (ATU), noted that private capital is crucial to expand digital infrastructure across Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Deployment of fast and reliable internet connection is capital intensive and requires greater participation of industry. African governments should encourage private investors to inject capital in digital economy,” Soumaila said.
Digital revolution has unleashed new prosperity in Africa while promoting good governance and transparency.
Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Francis Wangusi noted that investment in broadband infrastructure has fueled innovations that address societal ills.
“African states should invest in networks and infrastructure in order to reap fully from the benefits of digital revolution,” he said. Enditem

-Xinhua

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