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Africans should learn from Rwandan ICT revolution to leap out of poverty—Ojobo

Immediate past image-maker of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and foundation President of the African ICT Foundation (AFICTF), Mr. Tony Ojobo has called on Nigeria and other African nations wishing to leap out of resource economy to knowledge economy to approach Rwanda for briefings and understudy of how it happened.
Speaking in an interview with Business Hilights South East Bureau chief in Enugu recently, he revealed that “The continent faces serious challenges arising from population explosion and rising unemployment. This portends danger for the continent if not addressed. The rate of rise in criminal activities can be traced to unemployment in Africa. This underscores the need for a concrete African ICT Roadmap to encourage innovation and job creation”.
“The rise in ICT Innovation Hubs in the Continent is therefore a welcome development in this direction. Companies such as CcHub , Andela and a number of ICT Hubs around the Continent gives us hope. Recently CcHub established an innovation hub in Rwanda with the active support of the Rwandan government.
He revealed that “Rwanda has become the beacon of hope and the poster boy of ICT innovations and development in Africa. The reports of ICT Innovations coming from Rwanda should be studied by other African countries”.
“I believe that in the near future AFICTF May have to pay a visit to that country to see what can be adopted in formulating ICT policies for African countries.
Recall that in his keynote address during the recent inauguration of the Board of AFICTF, Ojobo averred that “Africa needs a declaration of emergency in the area of ICT developments and innovation,” insisting that “Her people have been left largely behind in the revolution taking place in the ICT sectors around the world”.
According to him, “The advancement in technology in developed countries has translated to major economic gains and enhanced standard of living for her citizens. The innovations being witnessed today in the sector is reverberating world over, thus opening new business opportunities for companies in Europe, Asia and North America.
AFICTF boss revealed that “Africa seems to be in deep slumber while other continents are on the march to prosperity for posterity. The sad thing is that most of the innovations find their way to Africa which has remained a major consumer of these innovations”.
Ojobo was quick to stress that “At the level of African Union, there has to be a concrete policy direction for ICT development and innovations in the continent. This can be done through the various regional Organisations such as West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Association (WATRA) Southern Africa Regulators Association (SATRA) and other regional bodies in East Africa, North and Central Africa”.
The former NCC official listed what he described as four critical factors necessary for ICT development in the continent including awareness, access, adoption and application.