Digital Policy: Stakeholders call for investment in digital infrastructure for sustainable digital growth in Edo

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Stakeholders and participants at the ongoing three-day Digital Policy Co-Creation workshop at the Eterno Hotel, Edo State advocate the need for capacity training and provision of digital infrastructure as a means to deepen digital literacy thus empowering citizens with affordable and equitable access to high internet speed.

Optimizing digital infrastructure by providing functional fiber optics, data centre, cybersecurity, and ease of access to mobile broadband networks, according to them is critical to driving sustainable digital growth in Edo.
They added that, if deployed well, digital infrastructure can improve inclusion by providing more services to those with physical disabilities and excluded populations such as those in remote areas. Hence, building a robust and sustainable future for all.

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, had in July 2023 while receiving a team of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who were on a courtesy visit at the Government House in Benin City launched the Edo Digital Policy Project in furtherance of the government’s efforts to expand the State’s digital economy and drive sustainable growth and development across the State via technology.

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According to the governor, “Over the last six years, we have been emphasizing institutional reforms to ensure that government provides efficient and effective services to Edo people. We have prioritized digital technology in Edo State. Working with the Head of Service and his team as well as the civil/public servants in the State, we have been able to create a digital platform to move the government ahead. The EdoBEST programme and our initiatives in the healthcare system are testimonies of our embrace of digital systems to provide effective and efficient service to our people.

“We have made a critical and important investment in building the infrastructure to support our digital revolution and thank our various partners for supporting the system to grow…”
He further stated that: “The world now is concerned with Artificial Intelligence. In our quest to make Edo State great again, we must be in the forefront of digital technology in the nation. We are creating opportunities for our young people to explore the digital space in the State. We are also creating a digital world in Edo and opening the system for them.
“This project is a priority for us and you will get the support of all the Ministries and MDAs, as we will do a weekly review and want the draft of this policy this year at Alaghodaro to show the world that we are thinking ahead. We want the State to be a digital power.”

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At the end of the workshop which will climax on Friday, September 22nd, 2023, a policy framework would have been formed as a roadmap for sustainable digital inclusion in Edo.

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