Facebook will be working together with Malawi's government to look at ways to improve the country's ICT infrastructure. More interesting though, is that Facebook will also be looking to assist the government of Malawi in addressing "social media abuse."
This comes as a result of meeting earlier in May 2018 between Facebook, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), and Malawi's Ministry of Information and Fiscal Police.
“The discussion centred on how we might be able to connect more Malawians to the internet, something that government of Malawi intends to do in collaboration with Facebook. “We are making great investments to solve key infrastructure challenges and we are focusing on two areas; the first is bulk whole area, we laid 800 km of optic fibre in northern Uganda and we would like to replicate the same in other countries,” said Kojo Boakye, Public Policy Manager for Access and Connectivity at Facebook Africa.
This is not the first time Facebook will be "collaborating" with Afrikan authorities to monitor "social media abuse." Earlier in February 2018, Facebook met with Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and stated that it will be helping Nigeria with its upcoming 2019 presidential elections. Part of what Facebook has done thus far leading up to the 2019 Nigerian general elections is to pull down fake INEC pages on its platform in a move to ensure no false information is spread.
“In addition, we would like to invest in wireless infrastructure to connect rural areas of Malawi and we have teams dedicated to do that. It was about whether MACRA and government would be supportive to any effort we might undertake,” said Boakye.
The move has been welcomed by Malawi's authorities, with Erica Maganga, Principal Secretary for Malawi's Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, saying that it is a positive move that will help with ICT development.
“As government, we are happy to have held the meeting with Facebook. What is most pleasing is that Facebook is now willing to come to Malawi to look at what kind of investment they could bring and also the training they would offer in universities,” said Maganga.
Cover image credit: At Chayamba Building, facing Mount Soche Hotel, Blantyre, Malawi. Wikipedia Commons