The Nigerian government has pledged its support for a free and secure Internet in Africa, aiming to close the digital divide and foster innovative opportunities across the continent. Dr. Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, emphasized this commitment during the Africa Internet Governance Forum held at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.
Speaking virtually at the forum, Minister Tijani highlighted Nigeria’s role as the largest telecommunications market in Africa and its keen awareness of emerging Internet technologies. He expressed the government’s dedication to collaborating with African nations to ensure effective Internet governance, harnessing its vast resources for the growth and benefit of citizens and the nation.
Minister Tijani stated, “It is through this kind of forum that we can bridge the digital divides, enhance cybersecurity, ensure digital rights, and foster innovation. It is, therefore, our collective duty to ensure that the Internet remains open, safe, and beneficial for all.” He called on stakeholders to prioritize collaboration in shaping the future of the Internet in Africa, one that reflects shared values, aspirations, and diversity.
The Minister commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other agencies for their roles in organizing the 2023 AfIGF. He praised their effective planning and commitment to driving change in Africa’s digital future.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to a secure Internet ecosystem. Danbatta highlighted the country’s progress in broadband penetration, basic Internet usage, and voice subscriptions, all of which contribute significantly to the nation’s GDP. As Nigeria hosted this year’s AfIGF, the focus was on sharing experiences and learning from fellow African nations to promote socio-economic development through proper Internet resource utilization.
Dr. Mactar Seck, Chief of the Section on Innovation and Technology at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), expressed gratitude to the NCC and the government for their support in ensuring the forum’s success. He emphasized the importance of the AfIGF in enabling African nations to unite and advocate for greater benefits in economic development through Internet resources.