TechInAfrica – According to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Information Communication Technology (ICT) can be the tools to address poverty in rural communities as well as stimulate Africa’s economy if it is deployed effectively. By saying effectively, he means adequate access and the right information which eventually can reduce poverty level in Africa’s rural communities.
The opinions were expressed in a paper titled Enhancing Information Communication Technology (ICT) Use in Providing Life-Changing Solutions in Rural Communities. He delivered the paper at the 50th Regional Conference and the Annual General Meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Africa Region that took place in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
“Everywhere, from Africa to Europe, Asia to the Americas, policymakers are still trying to figure out this brave new world. It often feels as if the moment we reach an understanding of one paradigm, it changes again to reveal new vistas, new challenges, and opportunities. We cannot, and we do not seek to halt the march of technological progress. In fact, we embrace it because we have seen how technology properly used can improve the circumstances of human life in every sector from education to health care, security, and commerce.”
Gbajabiamila emphasized that ICT can play a major role in tackling rural poverty and increase the economic well-being of the communities through the effective deployment of ICT. He said that the main challenge facing rural communities in Nigeria and Africa as a whole is the infrastructural deficit. As a result, it detains development.
“This affects access to adequate and right information by the rural communities. The challenge is how to leverage the bountiful opportunities in the sector to improve service delivery in rural communities.”
Furthermore, Gbahabiamila said that in the agriculture sector, the ICT plays an important role to improve efficiency, productivity, and sustainability of small-scale farmers.