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AfICTA Chair in Geneva, Switzerland

AfICTA chair, Dr Jimson Olufuye (centre) answering questions at the ongoing WSIS Forum, HighLevel Session on Digital Divides in Geneva. With him were l-r, H.E. Mr Yasuo Sakamoto, Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan, Mr Pablo Bello, Secretary General, Asociación Interamericana de Empresas de Telecomunicación (ASIET), Brazil, Mr Alex Wong, Head, Global Challenge Partnerships, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
AfICTA chair, Dr Jimson Olufuye (centre) answering questions at the ongoing WSIS Forum, HighLevel Session on Digital Divides in Geneva. With him were l-r, H.E. Mr Yasuo Sakamoto, Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan, Mr Pablo Bello, Secretary General, Asociación Interamericana de Empresas de Telecomunicación (ASIET), Brazil, Mr Alex Wong, Head, Global Challenge Partnerships, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum

       Chairman AfICTA at the WSIS Forum High Level Session on Digital Divides in Geneva outlined steps to bridging digital divides. The steps include: 1. Institution of multi-stakeholder (M/S) approach (exemplified by ICANN and IGF) at strategy formulation, implementation and benefit assessment and realization. For example, the newly composed M/S Cybersecurity Council in Nigeria is a step in the right direction
2. In-depth review of national e-Strategies earlier accomplished with embedded mechanism for implementation, follow-up, collation of metrics and sustainability.
3. Following  2 above, there should be active peer review engagements across sub-regions and regional economic blocks
4. International cooperation and collaboration to enrich 3 above among others
Other considerations for bridging digital divides he mentioned include:
5. Innovative Citizen engagement initiatives
6. Institution of transparency and accountability in project implementation
7. Constant exploration of better and more cost effective alternatives through innovation
8. Expansion of ICT skills acquisition programmes and upgrade of school curricula
9. Creating opportunity for universal access and reducing broadband cost through special tax breaks and incentives. In the word of African richest man Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote on what states need to do. “They (States) can create jobs and give incentives to people to come and invest, they should assure people that they are not going to be slammed with various taxes which is what some of them do.”