Africa Must Develop a Clear Pan-African Digital Strategy, Says Andile Ngcaba

"Unless Africa develops a clear pan-African digital strategy our reliance on external digital infrastructure presents unmeasurable risks in the near future."

Andile Ngcaba
Andile Ngcaba. Image source: Twitter

ICT industry veteran Andile Ngcaba’s and chairman of inq., a Pan-African digital service provider, has called on Africa to develop a clear pan-African digital strategy.

Ngcaba was speaking at the company’s Zoom Webinar launch.

“The Second World War fundamentally changed the geopolitical and economic systems. The end of that war saw the establishment of the United Nation, World Bank and many other institutions. These organisations instituted in a new form of global capital markets driven by foreign direct investments. Like other pandemics they have come before it, COVID-19 will fundamentally change the global architecture and operating models to what we will soon be known as the post-COVID-19 stage,” Ngcaba said at inq. Zoom Webinar launch.

He said that digital tools and the Internet will underpin this new model.

“COVID-19 has availed the opportunity to revisit the global digital infrastructure. We need to relook the way global digital architecture is organised. Currently, there is an inherent risk in the skewed digital landscape.

“The high concentration of digital infrastructure in some parts of the world, continent, country or city post-COVID-19 digital architecture and operating models will require all of us, particularly, on the continent to move with speed in reversing the current state of Internet protocol transit that is predominantly outside the continent.”

Ngcaba added:

“We have witnessed surgent growth in traffic which is intra-Africa traffic but had to flow outside the continent during this time. This externalisation presents a significant risk for the immediate and future of digital Africa. Today, intra-Africa IP traffic is 15% while external transit IP traffic is 73%.

“Africa needs to build IP exchanges, hyperscale data centres as a matter of urgency post-COVID-19. The data centre infrastructure must be equitable spread across all the regions and sub-regions of the African continent.

He further explained that “Unless Africa develops a clear pan-African digital strategy our reliance on external digital infrastructure presents unmeasurable risks in the near future. Alongside digital infrastructure is the urgent need to upskill African millennials with advanced digital skills such as cloud, AI, network automation.”

By upskilling African millennials with these advanced skills, we will be preparing them adequately and will be able to deal with pandemics such as the one we are now experiencing, he said.

For more listen below on Ngcaba’s about opportunities offered by COVID-19 to Africa’s digital strategy:

 

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