-By FUNMI FALOBI, Lagos.
Research has revealed that Africa lags behind among comity of nations in the area of internet usage and access to internet.
According to a report by the World Economic Forum, percentage of individuals using the internet showed that Europe has 77.6 percent; America 66.0 percent; Arab States 37.0; Asia and Pacific 36.9 percent and Africa 20.9 percent.
Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa, World Economic Forum advocates that there is a need to fix the digital poverty, explaining that if Africans have access to affordable and fast internet, they would be able to create a rich future for the continent.
“Initiatives like this will only work if everyone has access to the internet in the first place. For too many of us, this critical first step is still lacking. In fact, according to figures from the International Telecommunications Union, just over 20% of Africans have internet access,” she said.
Ahead of the 2016 World Economic Forum on Africa, which takes place in Kigali on May 11-13, the Global Shapers, over 1,000 young people across 94 cities in Africa with the drive to make a contribution to their communities, are launching an #internet4all conversation.
Similarly, the Web We Want Foundation, as part of efforts toward increased internet access in Africa has scheduled programmes from May through June sensitising and advocating fast, safe and affordable internet access in Africa commencing with an action week between May 1-7 through activities to commemorate the International Worker’s Day, the World Press Freedom Day, the African World Heritage Day, the World Economic Forum on Africa and African Union Summit.
Activities include calling for more action on internet rights in Africa; Speaking out on internet, economy, jobs and rights; free speech and the internet should go hand in hand, among others.