The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the government is pursuing a comprehensive digital development agenda with sustained investment in digital infrastructure to enhance connectivity and expand the state’s digital economy.
Obaseki said this in commemoration of the 2023 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, marked by the United Nations and its sister agencies with the theme, “Empowering the least developed countries through information and communication technologies.”
Reiterating the immense role of digital technologies in advancing sustainable socio-economic growth and development, Obaseki said the government is leveraging the transformative power of digital technologies and its ability to propel the state's economy, connecting more communities, and fostering inclusive growth.
According to him, “In today's interconnected global community, the potential of digital technology to transform societies, foster innovation, and empower individuals and communities, regardless of their location or socioeconomic status, cannot be underestimated.
“It is, however, worrying that despite this indispensable role of information and communication technologies, least developed countries and communities around the world still face unique challenges in accessing and utilizing digital technologies. This digital divide not only perpetuates existing inequalities but also hinders sustainable development endeavors.
“To bridge this digital gap, it is imperative to prioritize digital investment in the least developed countries and hard-to-reach communities, which requires the increased collaboration of all global stakeholders to provide the essential resources, infrastructure, and technical expertise required to bridge the divide. This investment will empower individuals, improve education and healthcare services, stimulate economic growth, and create new avenues for social inclusion and active participation.”
The governor added, “As a government, we understand the transformative power of digital technologies and its ability to propel the state's economy and have made significant strides at improving access to internet connectivity to expand our digital economy and immensely benefit from the opportunities brought about by the digital revolution. We firmly believe that no community should be left behind in this era of technological advancement.
“We have strengthened the backbone of our ICT infrastructure connectivity to make Edo one of the sub-nationals with the strongest ICT infrastructure in the country. Through our partnership with leading data centre and ICT infrastructure firm, Geniserve Limited, we are connecting all our 18 local councils with fibre optic cables, to enhance internet connectivity and expand our digital economy.
“We are training and equipping our civil and public servants with the necessary skills and tools to fully embrace and utilize digital technology in their day-to-day work of delivering effective and efficient service to Edo people.
“We have established a technology park and innovation hubs across the State, providing a vibrant ecosystem that brings together startups, investors, and industry experts, fostering innovation, knowledge sharing, and creating an enabling environment for digital entrepreneurs to thrive.”
“As a government, we believe that by equipping our citizens with the necessary digital skills, we are empowering them to participate fully in the digital economy, opening doors to entrepreneurship, employment, and economic self-reliance,” the governor added.