Original article on nigeriatoday.ng | 3 November 2016 | by Emma Okonji
The need to create no fewer than one million additional jobs in the area of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) by 2020 across African continent, was part of the objectives of the 4th annual summit by the Africa Information and Communication Technologies Alliance (AfICTA) held recently in Windhoek, Namibia. The initiative is aimed at developing and promoting Africa to be the number one outsourcing destination in the world.
The Chairman of the summit planning committee and ICT Professional Association of Namibia and a member of the AfICTA Board, Mr .Paul Rowney in a communique signed at the end of the capacity building summit said the initiate must be embraced by all relevant stakeholders. To make this work within the timeline, he said that AfICTA was seeking for volunteers from Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia and Egypt in the phase one of the project.
The summit was organised by the Africa Information and Communication Technologies Alliance, and hosted by the ICT Professionals’ Association of Namibia (ICT-PAN) under the auspices of the Ministry of ICT, Namibia. According to the summit, Internet for all, connectivity for all and Broadband for all by 2020 should be top priority for all governments in Africa.
AfICTA summit also called on all members and stakeholders to volunteer support for the Global Outsourcing (GO) Africa initiative. The summit among other things, welcomed the October 1, 2016 transition of the Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) stewardship by the US Government to the global multi-stakeholder community, ICANN, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers; and urges all stakeholders to actively engage and own the oversight process.
Considering that the summit focused on sub-themes which included: The role of ICT in job creation; IoT, Affordability, Connectivity & Scenarios; Youth Development; SDGs & Cybersecurity; Internet Governance for SD – Aligning the Technical, social and political layers together; Sustaining critical infrastructure for IoTs and Keeping Internet safe, secure and resilient, the summit also declared that in view of and in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) national ICT policies, laws, regulations and practices should be reviewed for compliance and for inclusive benefits for all citizens.
The Internet of Things (IoT) presents a new opportunity for job creation in all sectors. That concerned stakeholders particularly governments and the private sector should evolve IoT strategies that maximize job opportunities for African youths. In this wise, long term tax holidays should be prioritized for business startups.
National multi-stakeholder dialogues on Internet Governance (IG) should be supported and, where not existing, convened in collaboration with government, private sector, civil society and the technical/academic community. That such dialogue will engender trust and commitment in tackling in-country IG issues such as Internet access and affordability for all, cybersecurity, mitigating cybercrime, quality of service, local content digitization, innovation/creativity, IPv6 deployment and other issues.
In order to end poverty in Africa, the summit called on African governments to as a matter of urgency, remove all forms of barriers to free flow of people and investment resources across the region. It suggested a visa-free regime for business to business, while in the interim, visa on arrival service should be established.