MainOne, West Africa’s leading telecommunications services company, joined technology leaders from across Africa and the rest of the world to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Web on the platform of Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) in Abuja recently.
The event aimed at bringing together governments, technology innovators, researchers and campaigners to drive policy change, dialogue and investments needed to put internet access in the hands of millions across Africa. The platform projected efforts of partners at increasing broadband penetration in Nigeria five-fold to 30 per cent by 2018. It also witnessed the launch of the Nigerian arm of the multi-stakeholder coalition that will contribute to the development of policies intended to bring in a new era of widespread and affordable internet access.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, Ms. Funke Opeke, represented by the company’s Regulatory Affairs Manager, Kemi Adeyanju, commended the efforts of A4AI at driving down high retail internet prices. This she said “will help to connect a higher percentage of Nigerians, especially the youth, who are presently not connected to the internet and make universal access a reality”.
She projected that the advent of broadband in Nigeria will further open up the Nigerian e-commerce market, paving way for new burgeoning list of e-commerce sites and businesses; put together by young individuals with the sole aim of creating jobs, driving value, productivity and adding more to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Commenting on the activities of A4AI, Sonia Jorge, Executive Director, A4AI, said that A4AI is working to unlock the power of the internet in Africa and place it in the hands of those for whom it remains out of reach. “Nigeria is one of the fastest growing markets in Africa but overcoming the challenges to increased access will not be solved by a single solution or player,” she added.
By advocating for open, competitive and innovative broadband markets, MainOne and other members of A4AI aim to cut internet access price to below 5% of monthly income worldwide, a target set by the UN Broadband Commission.