Minister of Information and Communication Technology Tjekero Tweya yesterday stressed the need for global social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to invest some of their profits in Africa.
Not mincing words, Tweya, who spoke at the fourth Africa Information and Communication Technologies Alliance (AfICTA) summit underway in Windhoek, said it is time AfICTA found ways for Facebook, Twitter and other similar global social media platforms to plough back in ICT infrastructure in Africa.
“These platforms are free but the owners of these ideas are billionaires. Of those billions how many are being ploughed back into ICT infrastructure on the [African] continent?” queried Tweya.
He added: “The day will come in Namibia where these platforms… if you take N$2 at least 50 cents will remain here.”
Highlighting the importance of ICT, the minister stressed the role that it can play in the Sustainable Development Goals, such as in eradicating poverty.
“In remote areas there are a lot of poor people without ICT structures,” said Tweya, who stressed that access to information is a basic human right.
On the importance of access to information, he said an entire village could be wiped out with an outbreak of disease if information on the disease does not reach that village in time.
The majority of people who have difficulties accessing information are in rural areas, noted the information minister. “You must have money to have access to information.”
He urged delegates to find solutions to problems that are preventing the continent from bringing ICT infrastructure development to rural areas.
AfICTA is a private sector led alliance of ICT associations, multi-national corporations, companies, organisations and individuals in the ICT sector in Africa.