CSquared, a pan-African broadband infrastructure provider has spelt out its operational priorities that are destined to shape Africa’s digital future and trigger technological advancement that will bootstrap the continent’s youth into a digital revolution.
CSquared which started as a project to build and operate open-access broadband infrastructure in Africa, increasing access to reliable and affordable internet on the continent has the top on it’s priorities ‘Fiberising’ Africa. This would be achieved by synergising all the technologies that can enhance the ingenuity of Africans and jolt youth to be gainful in their thinking and change the dynamics of Africans from illiteracy to digital literacy.
Speaking with the media recently in Monrovia, Liberia, CSquared’s newly-appointed Group CEO, Lanre Kolade expressed his optimism that Africa would experience digital revolution when both the private sector and policymakers work hand-in-hand to empower and tap into African youth‘s huge potential.
‘Now more than ever, there is a dire need to have broadband that would bring internet to everyone, thus making available such revolutionary technologies as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to spur efficiency in our digital infrastructure, thus digitizing education, health care, agriculture and other sectors. The continent should transition from being just consumers of the internet and move to the extra mile of generating its own local content”, said Kolade.
He singled out the example of African data centers which can harbor the continent’s ‘library’, enabling efficiency in internet exchange among African countries.
“CSquared envisages a situation where African internet exchange doesn’t have to go to Europe before it cascades back to Africa”, said Kolade, noting that localized content will mean reduction of costs thus easy accessibility of data in the continent.
“Fiberising Africa is about empowering the people and the continent to carry the right kind of data that ensures ease of doing business, enhancing e-commerce and creating other value chains that impact people’s livelihoods”, Kolade added.
On how this ambitious feat will be achieved, Kolade said the CSquared believes in collaboration through harnessing the power of Public-Private Partnership (PPT) where possible in a bid to bring stakeholders together in the data delocalization value chain.
Kolade however, acknowledges the inherent challenge in changing the people’s mindset on the quest to transform access to the internet in Africa, adding that educating and teaching Africans on the transformative role of delocalized data are key to African technological renaissance.
CSquared currently operates fiber infrastructure in Uganda, Ghana, and Liberia and is gradually expanding into more countries, with the ultimate aim of fiberising the entire continent in the near future.
It is imperative to note that according to Internet World Stats (Usage and Penetration Statistics), internet penetration in Africa by December 2017 stood at 35.2% as opposed to the world average of 54.4% and 58.4 % in the rest of the world respectively. The comparatively dismal internet penetration in Africa understandably buttresses the urgency in which drastic and pragmatic measures should be undertaken to bridge the gap, a reason as to why digital technology firms such as CSquared are at the forefront in trailblazing efforts that seek to grow access to the internet by rolling out and operating affordable high-speed and reliable infrastructure to expand data availability across Africa.