Government for improved internet connectivity

Minister of Information and Digitalisation, Moses Kunkuyu, has reiterated government’s commitment in providing affordable and accessible internet connectivity to all Malawians.

Kunkuyu made the remarks Monday at the opening of a two-day International Communication Union (ITU) Regional workshop on cost models for data services and international internet connectivity, organised by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) in Lilongwe.

He said the  workshop will serve as a platform to address challenges that developing countries like Malawi are facing with internet connectivity services.

He said   government is committed in ensuring that Malawians have access to affordable internet services.

Minister of Information, Moses Kunkuyu-opening the workshop-pic by Moses Nyirenda.

In his remarks, MACRA’s Director General, Daud Suleman said that the workshop will help the regulatory body to ensure that Malawians are connected to the internet, which is one of the enablers in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Suleman indicated that due to the emergence of digital technologies in Malawi, the country can venture into a digital economy through the availability of affordable internet connectivity and access to smartphones among Malawians.

“As one of the least developed countries, we require digitalisation and this is the only enabler that will allow us as a nation to achieve and attain 70 percent of the Malawi sustainable development goals by 2030

“Currently, we are at a position where only a few Malawians are connected to the internet, and connecting to the internet unlocks a potential opportunity since the world has become digital and has also created a globalised market,” he added.

He also disclosed that digitalisation will also help the country to have a state of preparedness in case of emergencies such as cyclones and other natural disasters.

MACRA Director General, Daud Suleman-speaking during the opening of the workshop-pic by Moses Nyirenda.

“With digitalisation and the use of data, we will be in a better position to predict our crop harvestings statistics and forewarn the nation on what to grow during planting farming season” Suleman said

He also said despite Malawi having cheap data in the African region, government is doing everything possible to ensure that 70 percent of those not connected to the internet grid can connect themselves with cheaper internet connectivity

Vijay Maurce who is the Standardise Bureau Programme Coordinator at ITU said the two-day workshop is approving a platform for knowledge sharing on best practices that can be adopted by different countries.

He also emphasised that affordable internet connectivity drives the socio-economic livelihoods and the development of other industries such as artificial intelligence hence the need for all regional countries to have affordable and accessible internet.

ITU, the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), is made up of a membership of 193 Member States and more than 1000 companies, universities, and international and regional organisations.

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