Mr Isaias Barreto de Rosa, ECOWAS Commissioner for Telecommunications and Information Technology, says investing in the sector will contribute to the rapid development of the region.
Barreto da Rosa made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
“Today, information and communications technologies are everywhere and very critical, especially in the development of any nation in whatever sphere .
“ If you analyse any sector of the economy, you will find that you need information and communications technology today to drive development, ” he said.
The commissioner noted that strong telecommunication and information technologies would contribute to changing the people’s lives in unprecedented ways to bring about better living conditions.
“Telecommunication and information technology could lead to good governance, better health conditions, and contribute to the efficiency of the companies with the attendant expectations of better results,’’ he said.
He also said that investing in the sector in the region would also reduce communication costs.
Barreto da Rosa noted that naturally, poor information technology infrastructure had made telecommunication costs to become extremely high in West Africa.
“Today, due to lack of proper information technology infrastructure in the region, if you want to communicate with a neighbouring country, you often have to go through the submarine cable.
“This means you will go to Europe and come back to the neighbouring country and that will definitely increase communication cost.
“When it comes to Internet access, we have only four countries with Internet exchange point in the region and that is equally causing increase in communication costs.
“ECOWAS commission is working toward interconnecting all the 15 member states, and also government institutions in member states.”
He said the commission was also working toward having better communications among member states.