Source: Ghana Web
Professor Nii Narku Quaynor, a Ghanaian scientist and engineer has emphasized the importance of embracing and maintaining open and uninterrupted access to internet in Africa.
In a keynote address at the annual African Peering and Interconnection Forum, Professor Quaynor cautioned against internet shutdowns, stressing that it has a detrimental impact on economic growth and youth innovation in the African region.
“Africa needs the open internet as a latecomer, we are a latecomer. The open-source software available on the Internet helps us to learn and contribute without permission. An open interoperable internet accessible to all will give Africa a good chance.”
He maintained that the open internet is a tool for development, highlighting the role of open-source software available on the internet, which according to him facilitates learning and contribution without restrictions, thereby enabling Africa to catch up and participate in global technological advancements.
He urged a shift in mindset towards the internet, suggesting that a culture of appreciation and protection needs to be cultivated, given the journey it took to establish and nurture the internet infrastructure in Africa.
“With 60% of the African population under 25 years, the opportunity that comes with the Internet will enable the youth to innovate and create jobs and help develop the country’s economy, perhaps a new culture of caring for the internet needs to be developed, where we are committed to the internet and do not take it for granted, it took a lot of efforts, believe me, to start or to plant the internet seed in Africa, so please protect it.
“Internet shutdowns in Africa should stop, we don’t have enough of it and any disruption is an impediment to economic growth. Any potential risk of fragmentation should be avoided at all costs, there is only one internetwork, the internet is fast becoming the driver of the digital economy in Africa, so we should respect the same, the Internet will be a treasure for a mobilized continental free trade area, in fact, it will not succeed without it,” Professor Quaynor added.
Source: Ghana Web