DBI boss decries Africa’s lack of contribution to internet

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Prof. Raymond Akwule, President of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), has decried the absence of African, and Nigerian contributions in particular, into the core internet development.

He was speaking at the 2012 edition of the Nigeria IPv6 Round Table held in Lagos, and organised by DigitalSENSE Africa Media in collaboration with National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Internet Society (ISOC) Nigeria chapter, with the theme: IPv6 and the Future of Internet in Nigeria.

He said it had become worrisome there is absolutely no contribution from Nigeria on core internet evolution.

“You will find out that there has been absolutely no contribution from our own country in this process,” he said, wondering if this was because Nigeria and Africa at large lacks the requisite people and capacity

“Is it because we don’t have people who understand language of the internet, architecture, engineering software?” he asked.

But, Prof. Akwule was quick to add that this should not be the case, declaring: “if we don’t have them in country, we have them in Diaspora.”

As the current president of Digital Bridge Institute, Prof. Akwule said unequivocally that Nigeria has what it takes to make relevant impact and contribute to the development of the Internet in some areas.

He therefore urged experts to come up with ways to improve on Nigeria and Africa’s contribution to Internet development, saying that this could start by crafting what happens in the core architecture of the internet such that Nigeria’s presence will be felt not just as users of the internet.

He enjoined Nigerians not to worry about studying a particular subject, pointing out that some of the brightest IT people he met so far had not studied IT.

“My best IT person that does all kinds of wonders, but did not study IT, and I always say that because there is lesson there,” he submitted.

Also speaking at the event, the Executive Director, Operations at DigitalSENSE Africa, Nkemdilim Nweke, noted that the Nigeria IPv6 Round Table, aims to provide a platform for all stakeholders in the country to share IPv6 knowledge and experience, chart a roadmap for early transition to IPv6 as Internet Protocol version Four (IPv4) has ran out.

Also, she said the Round Table was initiated to promote IPv6-enabled products and services in the country, stressing that the event stimulates public discourse and creation of awareness on the technological cum business benefits of this rapid advancing technology.

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