DigitalNews Today: The Power of Broadband: When you transform lives you transform a nation

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The Power of Broadband: When you transform lives you transform a nation

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The following stories are excerpts from the keynote address of Nigeria’s Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson at the inaugural Telecoms Stakeholders’ Summit, which took place in Lagos on 17th of December, 2013. In her own words, "This is not fiction or day dreaming by a passionate Minister" These are real stories"

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"A newly married young lady’s husband complements her on her delicious stews and friends start to offer her money to cook for them in measured containers. Someone suggests she advertises on the internet-in a few months she is earning a good income from selling stews in containers-from no job a few months back"

"A young man is tired of pounding the pavement and writing hundreds of CVs looking for a corporate job-he has no contacts, no Minister aunty or uncle to fix him up. He is browsing the internet, takes an interest in film production, learns how to use a movie camera over the internet and today he is not only making movies but is teaching other people how to use cameras and produce movies."

"A young woman in a rural area is pregnant with her first child-pregnancy is not an illness she is told by the older women in the village so stop being lazy and get to work. She knows there is something wrong- SMS messages and information on her second trimester sent to her on her mobile phone tells her that there is something wrong. She sees her health worker and her baby is saved. "

"A farmer toiling the ground for many years hasn’t seen a farm extension worker in years to advise him on new and modern farming techniques that will improve his productivity and yield. He relies on a middle man to sell his produce and receives even less than the middle man as he cannot afford to make the trip to the market in the next town. Connectivity arrives in his village, his son in Lagos sends him a simple internet enabled phone, he receives extension advice from some of the highest offers for his produce via SMS-his life and that of his family is transformed. "

“Christmas was coming; it is now here, no presents, no food, Lagos traffic is chaotic. In the peace of her home, when all are asleep, a busy working mother buys presents online from Nigerian based ecommerce sites, sends a list of groceries to an online grocery shopping site-presents and food delivered the next day and a happy Christmas is had by all. "

She went further to state that the examples given "are evidence that broadband can increase business productivity, can lead to the creation of new businesses and jobs, can save lives, can deliver much needed skills in a developing nation. This is what makes up the GDP of a nation-and the most powerful and compelling part of these stories is that this is GDP growth with jobs".

Do you have or know of any Nigerian whose life, family, business, education, health, productivity and capacity has been transformed by broadband? Share it with us and let us be on our way to get Nigerians connected. Let us begin to imagine the possibilities of doing more with BROADBAND.

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