(Niamey and the 2 days) – Niger wants to take up the challenge of Tics. Ranked among the last on the continent in terms of Internet access, the country intends to increase the penetration rate with the key: the construction of smart villages.

The information was given on January 31, 2017 on the sidelines of the African Union Heads of State summit. Niger took the opportunity to join the Smart Africa Alliance. “It is naturally and with great enthusiasm that Niger joins the Smart Africa Alliance, one of the key objectives of which is to transform Africa,” said President Mahamadou Issoufou.

For him, the objectives of the alliance coincide with the stimulus points for the digital economy included in its governance program (Renaissance 2). “This involves bringing the national coverage rate to 100% and the penetration rate to 70 by improving infrastructure and creating a framework for encouraging and promoting youth entrepreneurship in ICT activities,” specifies the Nigerien President.

To do this, Mr. Issoufou promises the completion of the construction of the national backbone and international fiber optic interconnections in order to provide consumers with better access to quality services; support the private sector through the creation of several business incubators.

Bases that will allow him to build smart villages. “This project aims to be transversal, because it combines several priorities of the Alliance (Agriculture, internet for all, education for all”, he promises. Before adding that the choice of smart villages is not fortuitous given that 80% of the Nigerien population live in rural areas.

Alliance Smart Africa was born in 2013 in Rwanda and is open to all African countries. The aim is to put ICTs at the center of the continent’s socio-economic development agenda.

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