By Emeka AGINAM
Despite stiff competition at the just concluded 2nd biennial Africa Digital Forum (ADF) awards put in place by ICT Watch Africa Digital Network, Austin Okere, Group Managing Director, Computer Warehouse Group Limited also received the award for the ‘ICT Man of the Decade, 2012’in Nigeria against even as Computer Warehouse Group won ‘ICT Conglomerate of the year, 2012.
The organizers of the Africa Digital Forum said CWG was worth the conferment based on her immense contributions towards the growth and development of Information and Communications Technology, youth empowerment through ICT education and the nation building. It also rewarded and recognized innovations and excellence in ICT activities in Africa and globally.
The feat bestowed on Austin Okere, ‘ICT Man of the Decade, 2012’ honours him as an individual that has distinguished himself in the provision of Information and Communications Technology because of his immense contribution towards the advancement of ICT.
Okere while receiving the awards said: ‘These awards represent the hard work and unreserved commitment that CWG has displayed overtime in terms of ICT development in Africa and the world at large. It is going to inspire us to keep pushing the bar when it comes to ICT in Africa.’
Okere who was the guest speaker at the event delivered an enlightening speech on crux issues affecting the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) such as broadband and its attendant challenges, main issues militating against broadband penetration in Nigeria, the poor quality of service in the telecom sector and what can be done to bring back to life Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) Operators was discussed at the forum and solutions were also proffered.
Some of the challenges that have attributed to slow broadband growth in Nigeria, according to him include right of way and barriers to deployment, service providers becoming moribund, most RLDO are critically challenged, most medium sized operators (especially Nigerian start ups) are failing. These challenges alone as it was reasoned at the forum could frustrate the country’s’ efforts towards the journey of broadband Internet availability.