The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MainOne-a leading provider of innovative telecom services and network solutions for businesses in West Africa, Funke Opeke, joined global policy makers, international organizations and other global internet stakeholders in Istanbul, Turkey this week to discuss “Policies Enabling Access, Growth and Development on the Internet”. The 9th Annual Internet Governance Forum conference themed “Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance” was a collaborative effort under the guidance of the United Nations for stakeholders from various regions of the world to engage in policy dialogues on the future of the Internet.
Ms. Opeke spoke on a panel that included the Nigerian Minister of Communications Technology, Omobola Johnson; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, United States Government, Amb. Daniel Sepulveda; the Commissioner for Digital Agenda and President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Neelie Kroes; Deputy Director General, UNESCO, Getachew Engida; among others.
The session brought forth diverse experiences from both developed and developing countries on policies that have worked to enhance digital inclusion to drive growth and development. A critical consensus was formed on the need for deeper collaboration between the private and public sectors, and users on the implementation of strategies to enhance global internet access for the world’s four billion unconnected individuals.
Minister Omobola Johnson opened the session with a brief presentation of Nigeria’s broadband plan and the drive to increase fiber rollout and to make more spectrum available to drive broadband rollout, while MainOne’s CEO, Ms. Opeke further highlighted other developments in open access networks in Nigeria, as well as MainOne’s Data Center currently under construction in Lagos as a booster for local content. In particular, the panel took a keen interest to Nigeria’s film industry Nollywood and the role the Data Center could play in distributing that content via the Internet.
Speaking at the panel session, MainOne’s CEO said, “We realize that Internet Access can improve economic outcomes for the large youth population that we have in Nigeria. Delivering affordable Internet services to more of our youth will make a critical difference in our economic development and deserves the Industry’s utmost attention.”
Ms. Opeke noted that MainOne has been at the forefront of enabling affordable Internet Access in West Africa with investments in the growth of the local Internet Economy, stressing that participation in matters of Internet Governance further reinforces that commitment.