Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) spokesperson Ikechukwu Aninde, disclosed that investment in Nigeria’s telecommunication sector increased from US$38 billion to US$70 billion in 5 years; while recognizing the NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Dry Uman Danbatta, for increasing broadband growth at the Nigeria’s Tech and innovation Award.
Aninde added that broadband penetration increased from 6% in 2015 to 45.3% in September 2020 with Internet subscription rising from 90 million to 143.7 million, while voice subscriptions rose from 151 million to 205.25 million, resulting in a tele density of 107.53% by September 2020. There are also currently 6 licensed infrastructure companies from 2 in 2015, and InfraCos will deploy broadband infrastructure in 774 local government areas on wholesale in order to reach the 70% broadband target by 2025.
Liberian Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel Tweah, launched the WeahLearn App, a project started during the pandemic to keep high school students connected to their studies.
Tweah said the knowledge and thinking of youths is more important than anything, and the government is determined to provide an enabling environment for all citizens, especially the youth. He added that the launch of the app indicates that Liberia has a great future of possibilities, where the youths will be provided with many opportunities to build on their future.
Lamido Yuguda, Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced at the Senate Committee on capital market that finance technology (fintech) will soon be introduced in Nigeria’s Capital Market. Fintech is any business that uses technology to improve or automate financial services and processes, and adjust problems in a financial infrastructure.
While Yuguda added that the roadmap and the regulatory framework are being prepared to get fintech into the market; the chairperson of the commission, Ibukunle Amosun, insisted on strengthening the country’s commodity exchange to make the market robust and functional.
At the first National Forum on cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrimes held from the 03-05 November 2020, the Cameroonian Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Minette Libom Li Keng said an open and secure Internet is an engine of economic growth and social development.
The forum’s theme National Cyberspace and security challenges, was aimed at raising awareness on cybersecurity and the responsible use of social networks. She disclosed that in 2018, 3388 cases of identity theft were registered while in 2019 2050 complaints relating to scamming and phishing amounting to 5 billion Central African CFA franc and bank fraud loss of 6 billion Central African CFA franc has occurred. 11 617 vulnerabilities were detected on the websites of public administration bodies.
The forum enabled cybersecurity experts to exchange ideas and reflect on cyber policies and intervention levels that can secure the national cyberspace.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa is planning to use a digital participatory surveillance platform, where users regularly report their symptoms online via a mobile application or social media platforms, to survey respiratory diseases such as the influenza and Coronavirus. A pilot phase will check feasibilities before adding it into the existing surveillance system.
This surveillance app is meant for long-term surveillance, which is different from the existing COVID-19 Alert app used for contact tracing. The app will help the population to contribute in the control and prevention of respiratory diseases.
Steve Nyaga, a computer science student at Stratmore University, Kenya, built an app that helps people with hearing impairments to communicate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app converts audio into text that is displayed on a mobile device, and also offers a chat room. This is a solution for people with hearing impairments who cannot communicate with face masks on, since they use sign language and lip-read during conversation.
Nyaga said this app is the cheapest solution to simplify life for the deaf and help them have access to information.
Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, used the #EndSARS protests that call for an end to police brutality by Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), to convince the National Assembly of the need for social media regulation. According to the minister, fake news on social media fueled the protest which lasted over a week and caused the death of 22 policemen and 50 others.
Mohammed quoted the examples of China where Google, Facebook, and Instagram are absent, and Ethiopia where the social media was shut down for two days, following the killing of a musician during an unrest. He said social media promotes fake news so the National Assembly should support previous rejected bills on social media regulation, such as the bill on Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation and the National Commission for the Protection of Hate Speech.