Aminat Isah, Abuja
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo says the future of Nigeria depends on the creativity and innovations of the nigerian youths, to ensure that Nigeria, and Africa at large catch up with the fourth industrial revolution.
Osinbajo stated this while declaring open the 2018 Digital Africa Conference on Tuesday in Abuja, adding that technology, innovation and youth entrepreneurship cannot be ignored in the process of rebirthing Nigeria and Africa digitally.
The vice president who was represented by the Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu, expressed delight and said the theme of the conference “Africa Technology ” is apt since it will further discuss the great achievements in Science and Technology of ancient Africa as well as chart a course for the future, bearing in mind that Africa has the world’s oldest record of human technological achievement.
“The future of our country depends on the creativity and innovations of our youths. We as a government will continuously invest in that future and encourage our young minds to be both entrepreneurs and pacesetters.
” the government is committed to stimulating growth in the economy through wooing offshore investors, and providing softer pads for ease of doing business, the government also recognises that investing in the country’s youth is a cardinal pathway to building sustainable growth. Nigeria has indeed gotten to a point where there is a high demand for its software developers and ,” Said Osinbajo
He further charge African governments with the committement towards technological rebith of the continent.
“Permit me therefore, to advocate here that governments in Africa must approach the continent’s technological rebirth with strong commitment. African countries should consider establishing special agencies that will steer Africa’s gradual technological rebirth. Such agencies should be charged with the financing of innovations, e-commerce, strategic management of intellectual capital and property, promotion of technological development through partnerships and the use of such networks as knowledge bases, virtual corporations and virtual centres of excellence.
” Africa is no doubt, showing promises of a continent ready to leverage on technology tools and applications to fast track her socio-economic development. Evidences abound! It’s been projected by the GSMA that by 2020, Africa will have more than 700million smartphone connections- more than twice the projected number in North America and not far from the total in Europe. Yet, in Nigeria alone, it is estimated that 16 smartphones are sold every minute, while mobile data traffic across Africa is set to increase 15-fold by 2020,” Osinbajo said
He reiterate that President Muhammadu Buhari administration is determined to build a better future for Nigeria using innovations in science and technology and had approved a science and technology roadmap 2017 to 2030 to drive this initiative.
We plan to strengthen the technology and innovation ecosystem by supporting the development of innovation hubs in partnership with the private sector, Osinbajo explained.
The Minister of Communication and Technology, Adebayo Shittu, also represented by the permanent secretary of the Ministry, Abdulkareem Abdullahi in his remarks noted that the Digital Africa Conference has continued to provide Nigerian technology firms desirous of playing big in the emerging global economy, the opportunity of networking with reputable international tech firms for partnerships and investments.
This opportunity Shittu said has had concomitant effects on the national GDP, and has boosted the country’s foreign direct investment portfolio.
“We at the Federal Ministry of Communications strongly believe that Nigeria cannot have any meaningful development without a commensurate level of development in technology.
“We as a nation must begin to see the development and use of technology applications and tools as prerequisites to speedy national development. Therefore, from whichever way you look at it, Information and Communications Technology is very vital and pivotal for whatever any country wants to do in order to achieve development,” Shittu said.
Earlier Speakimg, the Chairman Digital Africa, Evans Woherem, said the 2018 Digital Africa Conference will take a look at the past, present and future of Africa with regards to science and technology, to determine where Africa lost its leadership position in the world of science and technology ranking.
” Many Africans world over are concerned with the state of things in Africa with regards to economic development and standard of living of people.
” It is stated , there is a positive correlation between the level of development in Information Technology of a country and the level of economic development of the country.
He said Digital Africa Realises this and is pusing for something to be done urgently to boost Africa’s level of awareness and the sense of urgency it places on the development of IT and related technologies as a way of stimulating, assuring and leapfrogging economic, science and technology development in the continent.
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