In a joint announcement with the Government of Nigeria, Microsoft has detailed several projects aimed at intensifying the nation’s move to become a more digital economy. After extensive consultations with the government, Microsoft identified three key pillars that will help to build strong foundations for a digital economy in Nigeria: connectivity, skilling and digital transformation.
“We believe in the future of Nigeria, and we are excited as a company to add to our investments,” says Brad Smith, Microsoft President. “Together, we have an enormous opportunity to put technology to work, create jobs, to foster the technology ecosystem across Nigeria, and to use technology to preserve the best of the past and take us into the future.”
Research points to internet penetration in Nigeria of around 50 percent and while the pandemic has increased the pace of digitisation, much needs to be done to empower all citizens to take advantage of the opportunities of a digital economy. Microsoft’s Airband Initiative has succeeded in bringing high-speed internet connectivity to underserved communities around the world, tapping into the unused broadcasting frequencies of television white spaces. The technology is cheaper and faster to deploy than fibre and has the added benefit of being able to travel long distances and through forested terrain.
Following discussions with the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and local partners, six regions in the country have been earmarked for the development of high-speed internet infrastructure. Microsoft’s Airband team will work closely with local partners to improve broadband connectivity in these communities while also assisting with the design and implementation of hyper-scale cloud services.
From Microsoft press release