Abuja, Sept. 14, 2023: Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said African countries have realised potentials of a robust digital economy to create business opportunities, increase efficiency, contribute to sustainable development and reshape people’s lives.
NCC’s Head of Corporate Services in the Universal Service Provision Fund, Mistura Aruna, spoke at the 11th African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) on Thursday in Abuja.
The theme of the a annual event is “Africa Union’s Data Policy Framework”.
The discussion, this year is focusing extensively on how the African Union’s Data Policy Framework will impact service delivery in the internet ecosystem.
Aruna said that Data, be it information, statistics, numbers, or in other forms were at the core of the digital transformation taking place at an unexpected pace and scale globally.
She said that the deployment of data-driven technologies to transform most aspects of the day to day living and work into quantifiable data that can be tracked.
Aruna said this can also be monitored, analysed and monetised had become such a phenomenon that the term ‘datafication’ had been coined to describe it.
She said the data policy framework derived from the Digital Transformation Strategy (DTS) adopted by the African Union (AU) in 2020 to transform African societies would improve life opportunities, reduce poverty, inequality and facilitate the delivery of goods and services.
She added: “The AU Data Policy Framework represents a significant step toward creating a consolidated data environment and harmonised digital data governance systems.
“This is to enable the free and secure flow of data across the continent while safeguarding human rights, upholding security and ensuring equitable access and sharing of benefits.
“This framework sets out a common vision, principles, strategic priorities and key recommendations to guide African countries in developing their national data systems and capabilities to effectively use and derive value from data.
“It is worthy to bear in mind that the domestication of the framework by African countries and the implementation of its key recommendations will position Africa as a strong partner.
“It will enable African youths to participate and thrive in the global digital economy and society.”
Aruna expressed optimism that at the end of the school, recommendations made would reach those who can make a tangible impact.
According to her, the commission remains fully committed to ensuring the deployment of robust infrastructure, availability, accessibility and affordability of Internet for all, through an inclusive stakeholder engagement process.