ByÂ Laide Akinboade
Executive Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, last week said that the development of broadband in Africa will help the continent to attain speedy human resources development.
EVC stated this at the final_day of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), stakeholders forum on the New Partnership for Africaâ€™s Development (NEPAD), Information, Communications, Technology (ICT), broadband infrastructure network organized by NEPAD, in Abuja.
According to him, â€œThe only way Africa can be accessed is through broadband. African nations need to invest in broadband for easy access from the outside world. Even the developed countries have invested so much in broadband . Broadband is only useful when it has content it is carrying which facilitate human development. Like the link between China and United States of America has brought lot of development into China. The linking of Africa to Africa is critical to the development of education and maintaining cultural values.â€
He noted that to be able to achieve this feat, there is need for African nations to open their market for competition; this will ensure the development of broadband in Africa.
â€œI therefore urged the African nations to open up their markets, in order to facilitate the development of broadband. if the market is limited, Africa will not achieve anything. We have to ensure that we do not discourage with unnecessary regulations, those companies that are interested so that their aspiration will not die.Â And that those companies are able to move from one country to the other.
â€œAn enabling policy and regulatory environment, is crucial for the establishment of broadband in Africa. He stressed the need for the continent to develop the capacity of its manpower. The development of the capacity of the people will ensure improvement on the infrastructures.
He noted that most African countries presently depend on satellite to connect to the world which according to him is expensive.
â€œDeveloping broadband in Africa will reduce Africaâ€™s dependence on foreign owned satellite systems. This will help in removing the need to pay exorbitant satellite transit fees.â€ â€œThe future of broadband in Africa is very wide.
Africa have for many decades depended on satellite. But we all know the limitations of satellite, from the reliability level and the cost compared to fiber cables. That is why Nigeria is eagerly awaiting the landing of glo 1 cable.â€ he said.