By Rabiyat Usman, Abuja
The serene environment of the Shehu Yar’ Adua Center recently during the Information Communication Technology Industry organized by Digital Africa, was breathe taking as movers and shakers of Telecommunication Industry converged with one thing in mind: Moving the Digital Industry Forward.
The theme: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Getting Africa Ready”, could not have come at a better time. Nigeria, at this point in time, must quickly catch up with the rest countries of world digitally if the country is to move forward in each and every aspect of her …..
The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Communication Barrister Adebayo Shittu said government was committed to encouraging the growth of indigenous ICT companies to world standards by proving policies that would help them thrive.
Osinbajo said: “I can gladly state that Nigeria, in the near future will no more be a dumping ground for ICT products and services and the government is committed to the establishment of Africa’s first $1bn ICT company here in Nigeria.”
He said government was committed to encouraging the growth of indigenous ICT companies to world standards by proving policies that will help them thrive.
“With the mantra of change, the Nigerian political milieu will be recalibrated for the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, so that both the executive and legislative arms will be more responsive and responsible in addressing the major global challenges staring us in the face,” Osinbajo said.
The Minister of Communication, who was represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Sunday Echono said, “The establishment of the centre will encourage investment in ICT sector and complement the proposed University of ICT, which will also produce required skilled manpower for Africa to partake in inevitable Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
He also said the Ministry has the mandate to ensure that technology is used for transparency and security in Nigeria.
He reiterated that Nigeria should not be a dumping ground for ICT products and services and the government is committed to the establishment of Africa in both hardware and software.
He said: “We should be example in active development of digital technology in Africa most importantly in Nigeria as the giant of Africa,.
Earlier Chairman Digital Africa Global Consult Limited, Dr Evan Woherem, said the gathering was to move Africa from its current technological position forward.
The Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, Professor Michael Umale Adikwu who was one of the panelists, said the country’s education is lacking behind, stating that’s why we have “late comer development limitation”.
“Most importantly, we should understand that the life of a nation does not depend on what it possesses in terms of raw materials but on the quality of its citizens. African has more than 68% of the world’s raw materials but the quality of life in Africa is very poor. The citizens make the nation great.”
Adikwu noted that the only way to bridge the gap in developing countries and developed nations is through standard education.
Continuing, he said: “In the global world, the education system has become more dynamic but in Africa, specifically in Nigeria, the educational system is still traditional. The curriculum is outdated, a survey was conducted and it was realized in a particular research that WAEC questions of 1927 and 1960 was repeated in 2010 SSCE examinations. That shows the length of time of our curriculum. Our curriculum is bloated with alien ideas and still focused on oil which brings us to our present situation recession, there are other aspects to focus on like technology, agriculture etc. Creativity and originality is the way forward.”
Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition is an annual assembly of the leading companies and government agencies involved in the promotion and development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Sector throughout Africa.