Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), predicted that the future of Nigeria’s digital transformation would be “brighter and also offer hope of prosperity.”
The NITDA boss expressed this optimism in Lagos during his opening speech titled “Implementation of a national digital transformation program” at the ongoing Global Tech Africa 2023 on the theme “Facilitating investments in Africa’s digital economy”.
The conference, which provides a platform to bring together African and international technology players to unlock growth opportunities for all and build the technology ecosystem in Africa, was organized by the Ascend Studio Foundation and in partnership with NITDA, the US Consulate, Venture Garden Group, Business Sweden and RivExcel Health.
Inuwa revealed that Nigeria’s greatest resource on which he bases his forecast is Nigeria’s abundant human capital, which remains its greatest resource. He noted that many global reports predict a global talent shortage by 2030, which could affect the future of work, but that Nigeria can explore to reinvent itself and become a global talent factory.
“It is evident that Nigeria is not only positioned to become a global talent factory, but we are also ready to invest and collaborate globally, as all developed countries will suffer from this deficit, including the United States of America. But Nigeria has one of the youngest populations in the world. We have the largest population in Africa; the largest economy; we have the market, we have the young people and we have natural talent. So, if we position ourselves, we can close this global talent gap and benefit from the $8.5 trillion global digital transformation gross domestic product (GDP).
According to Inuwa, Nigeria’s focus goes beyond digital economy but to achieving national digital transformation because of the ubiquitous nature of digital technology and its capacity to transform any industrial power through digital technology. He stressed that for the nation to benefit, “we must position ourselves and design the economy to reap the rewards of digital transformation.”
He said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has tasked the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy to accelerate the country’s economy by diversifying it so as to improve productivity in all sectors through digital innovation. “Our mandate is not only about the digital economy, but also about the transformation of the digital space and how we can empower and improve productivity across all sectors,” he noted.
While highlighting the strategic implementation approach Nigeria has adopted to drive its digital transformation agenda, the NITDA boss said the approach is three-pronged:; “First, reinvent ourselves in the global economy, second, adopt and create values for our ecosystem, because no one succeeds in isolation and, finally, improve connectivity.
He further noted that with the new minister’s five priority areas contained in a document titled “Accelerating our collective prosperity through technical efficiency, a strategic plan for the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Development Digital economy”, the country’s strategic program 2023-2027. digital transformation would now be anchored on Knowledge; Policy; Infrastructure; Innovation, entrepreneurship, capital and commerce.
In his speech at the conference, the Consul General of the United States, Mr. Will Stephen, said that Nigeria’s efforts towards digital transformation are commendable and assured that with such enthusiasm shown by the nation , its digital transformation would soon flourish.
While commending Nigeria for the various partnerships and collaborations it has entered into with some major US technology companies, Mr. Stephen took legal action for continued collaboration. He promised that America would ensure continued collaboration with Nigeria to promote its digital transformation agenda.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Executive Trustee of the Future Map Foundation, the convener of Global Tech Africa, Mr. Ahmad Shuaibu, represented by Ms. Farida Yahya, revealed that Africa would play a central role in the development of an “unprecedented technological revolution”. the world is currently witnessing this.
She said the continent’s young and dynamic population, with its rich natural resources and growing entrepreneurship, provides a strong foundation for technological innovation.
She noted that the Africa Global Technology Summit 2023 would serve as a powerful platform to showcase Africa’s technological prowess and connect innovators with investors, partners and mentors.
“This gathering of minds will undoubtedly spark new ideas, collaborations and opportunities, propelling Africa’s technological journey to new heights. » » she expressed her opinion.
The highlight of the first day of the conference was the signing of a partnership agreement for the Startup Support and Engagement Portal between NITDA and Venture Group Garden, VGG.
The NITDA Director General described the agreement as “an important and exciting milestone as it would enable Nigerian startups to access financing, as provided for in the Nigeria Startup Act 2022.