Owing to the importance of telecommunications in connecting people through voice telephony and data communications, Intel Corporation has called on African governments to consider the affordability of telecommunications to enable more Africans have access to it.
Vice-President in charge of World Ahead Program for Intel Corporation, Mr. John Davies, who gave the advice at the just concluded African version of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Abuja, told THISDAY in an interview that African governments should formulate key policies across African countries that will address affordability of services rendered by telecommunication operators in Africa.
He also spoke on the need for African governments to subsidise the cost of broadband in their various countries, to enable operators take such services to remote places that are not economically viable. This, he said, would enable more people have access to broadband connectivity in the areas of voice telephony and data communications.
He said Intel is currently working with telecommunications operators in Nigeria and some other African countries to make telecommunications services affordable to the people.
Apart from telecommunications, Davies also said Intel is working with the Nigerian government to boost education in the country, by training several Nigerian teachers in technology to make them better equipped in training students on latest technologies.
"Since the first WEF was held, there have been positive changes in business across Africa and businesses per countries are showing signs of maturity, because the forum has helped to improved how people use technology skills in doing business.
"Over the years, the impact of WEF has moved and it has helped in creating job opportunities across Africa. Nigeria has the biggest population and biggest economy in Africa, which makes connectivity very critical for Nigeria. Experiences gathered from WEF, will be used in developing African countries," Davies said.
He therefore insisted that the right government policies should be put in place to boost development across Africa.
During the World Economic Forum, Intel announced its collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation and Standard Charted Bank, under the Intel programme 'She Will Connect', which aims to reach five million women with digital literacy programme that is targeting to close the digital gender gap in Africa by 50 per cent.
According to Davies, "Intel believes that girls and women are connected to the world through technology, they are connected to the world through technology. As a result of this belief, Intel is partnering with Rockefeller Foundation and Standard Charted Bank on the initiative."
Country Manager, Intel Nigeria, Mr. Olubunmi Ekundare, explained that the Intel initiative to develop and empower girls and women in technology, was in line with initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Communications Technology, to train 1,000 girls in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) across the country.
Intel and its partners developed the Intel 'She Will Connect' initiative to reduce internet gender gap around the world, through an innovative combination of digital literacy training, online peer network, and gender relative content. The training will begin sub-Sahara Africa where the gap is the greatest, with initial pilots in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.
Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation, Mamaduo Biteye, said: "We will work together with Intel to connect young women to online jobs through tools and training, and the tools will provide the women WITIN best practice guides to assist them in successfully accessing online jobs, earn income and build their skills and digital work experience."
WEF is an international institution that is committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship and Nigeria hosted the 2014 WEF, which ended in Abuja last Friday.