The president made the call in Ndjamena, Chad yesterday at an international conference on Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, said in a statement that Jonathan observed that because of the strong correlation between the efficient deployment of ICT and socio-economic development, Nigeria and other African countries stand to gain from the adoption of the new technologies.
“Africa and Africans must be active participants in the digital revolution that is taking place all around the world. We must in fact be at the forefront of that revolution, creating information societies and knowledge based economies.
“African governments must facilitate and support the deployment of the necessary ICT infrastructure required to connect our citizens to each other and the rest of the world, we need to educate our citizens on ICT and make them digitally literate so they can actively participate in this revolution; we need to encourage the development of our local ICT industries, creating companies to drive added domestic economic value, create jobs and support sustainable growth in GDP,” Jonathan said.
The president said his administration was judiciously implementing a National ICT Policy, National Broadband Strategy and Road-map and Guidelines for Nigerian Content in the ICT industry.
“With over 10 terabytes of undersea cable landing on our shores, we are, through the bi-lateral Nigeria Niger Joint Commission, extending that capacity to Niger and we are in the process of entering into an MoU with the Chadian government to interconnect the optic fibre networks of Chad and Nigeria,” he added.
The president noted that ICT and the internet had clearly become catalysts that could expand the scope and scale of socio-economic development.
Commending his Chadian counterpart, Idriss Deby, for hosting the conference, Jonathan wished participants successful and fruitful deliberations.