Nigeria, one of the fastest growing telecommunications market in the world; with an unprecedented mobile penetration and the huge market potentials, yet it seems she may be losing out in the digital future if adequate policy measures are not urgently taken. Technology is dynamic and beyond having mobile phones, it presses mostly towards growing infrastructure and policy frameworks to enable research foster innovation and expansion.
According to the most recent statistics by the Global Information Technology Report, GITR, several African countries dropped in Network Readiness Index Ranking. The NRI measures the propensity for countries to exploit the opportunities offered by ICT. With Singapore and Finland (home to Nokia, Linux, Angry birds) topping the list, Nigeria descended seven places from last year to rank 119th. The only African country that ascended the list was Kenya, climbing six places to the 86th position.
Some Senior Cisco Executives have highlighted the considerable challenge facing most African countries as they seek to develop the infrastructure, institutions and skills needed to reap the full benefits of ICTs. They discovered that lack of access to the Internet is depriving many Africans of the opportunity to take full advantage of e-learning as well as online financial, data and health services.
As home to nine of the world’s 15 fastest growing economies, Africa is ripe for transformation and is an increasingly attractive environment for global business investments. Technology is at an inflection point and African economies need to prioritize ICT adoption to take full advantage of the benefits that embracing digital transformation strategies will offer.
According to GM, Cisco, West Africa, Dare Ogunlade, “Africa can make massive strides in connecting more citizens and bringing about positive social and economic change by improving its Networked Readiness. With political will and commitment from the private sector, progress can be made in bringing the benefit of ICTs to more people. We are already facing the next wave of the Internet – the Internet of Everything (IoE) –Africa needs to prioritize ICT development if it is to benefit from the new experiences and efficiencies that the IoE will bring.” I couldn’t agree more with him.