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Massive investment in internet infrastructures, broadband needed in Africa — NCC



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The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta has on communications industry stakeholders to partner with the governments in Africa in driving massive investment in internet infrastructures, particularly broadband, to create jobs, grow economies and raise continental competitiveness.

In his special remarks at the just concluded27th session of AFINIC (AFRINIC-27) meeting themed ‘Taking the African Internet to the Next Level through Policy, Collaboration and Education,’ he said “This can be achieved through sustainable policies and collaborative efforts”.

He noted that the African Regional Internet Registry (AFRINIC), has contributed a lot in providing platforms for Internet Development in Africa, from about 4.5 million Internet Users in 2002 to over 388 Million users in 2017.

Continuing, Danbatta revealed that “The growth of the Internet Industry in Africa, comes with the challenge of sustaining its development to ensure that the industry maintains global relevance and contends with challenges of low Internet penetration”.

“As the internet evolves, so also does cyber crime. This remains an immense challenge for internet development in Africa and the entire world, crucial collaboration within sub-regional and regional needed and this is the key in preventing and mitigating cyber attracts.

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He said in Nigeria, the NCC is partnering with relevant agencies to provide proactive measures in mitigating cybercrime. The Commission is setting up a Sectorial Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) center that will collaborate with the ngCERT (domicile in the office of the NSA), in tackling issues that relate to the telecommunications industry in the fight against cybercrime.

“On the international level, Nigeria through NCC, is partnering with International Telecommunications Union(ITU) to set up Africa Regional Cybersecurity Center (RCC) in Abuja. The center will be used for Africa Regional Cybersecurity information sharing (cyber-attacks, threats, malwares and viruses etc) and also to train countries within the Africa sub-region on Cybersecurity related issues.

NCC boss made it clear that “Broadband access is key to any national development agenda, and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2013 has set a target of 30% penetration by 2018, The  Commission (NCC) recognizes its prime responsibility in the actualization of the NBP, as one of the strategic objectives revered in its 8-Point Agenda, “facilitation of broadband penetration”  which will enable the NCC meet and even surpass the 30% target of broadband penetration in the country by 2018, as at September 2017 (Broadband Commission 2017), the Nigeria broadband penetration stands at 21.8%”.