By Emmanuel Okwuke
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications Technology, Dr Omobola Johnson said yesterday in Lagos, that research has shown that the Internet can contribute up to 300 billion United States dollars to Africa’s GDP by 2025; and this is from an estimated 18 billion in 2013.
She stated this at the DEMO Africa event which kicked off at the Lagos Oriental Hotel in Nigeria to an expectant audience of top investors, IT buyers, IT consumers, Government officials and IT enthusiasts from across Africa.
According to her, the increase in the number of mobile subscribers has fuelled increases in mobile internet use in Africa and we are considered to be at the cusp of a mobile internet revolution.
The Minister noted that predictions are that mobile internet use in Africa will increase twenty fold in the next five years. “This is double the estimated growth rate in the rest of the world. Lower priced devices (in particular smart phones and tablets), increase investment in network infrastructure, and increase availability of spectrum for mobile broadband are among the factors that will drive this growth”. Johnson commented that Africa is no longer a continent plagued with disease, hunger and illiteracy. “Africa is rising and it’s time to invest in Africa. Aside from Asia, we are the fastest rising continent and we are very excited as a government about the prospects that we are seeing in our young .I would urge the demonstrators to believe that it is possible to be the next Alibaba.”
The event which begun on an amazing high note, saw the first batch of the forty DEMO Africa finalist launch their IT generated solutions with the hope of attracting the right eye to take their innovation to the next level. These included VOTO Mobile from Ghana, Chura from Kenya, Cube and Hutbay from Nigeria.
The Executive Producer of DEMO Africa, Harry Hare commended the participants for showing such great enthusiasm towards finding the much needed solutions for Africa.
“It is inspiring to see that, now, more attention is being accorded the pursuit of solutions to problems that are uniquely African. The continent has one of the most diverse and talented pool of young people and finally, we are seeing a real intent by authorities to utilize the massive power within these brains to bring positive change, especially through technology.”