Inuwa Outlines Threefold Strategy for Nigeria’s Global Tech Positioning
By Alabidun Shuaib AbdulRahman
In his keynote address at the ongoing Global Tech Africa 2023 conference in Lagos, Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), expressed optimism about Nigeria’s digital future, citing the country’s abundant human capital as a key resource.
The conference, themed “Facilitating Investments in Africa’s Digital Economy,” serves as a platform for African and international tech stakeholders to unlock growth opportunities and build the tech ecosystem in Africa. Organized by Ascend Studio Foundation in partnership with NITDA, the U.S. Consulate, Venture Garden Group, Business Sweden, and RivExcel Health.
Inuwa highlighted Nigeria’s potential to become a global talent factory, leveraging its young population, largest economy in Africa, and natural talent to bridge the predicted global talent deficit by 2030.
He emphasized the need to position the country for investment and global collaboration to benefit from the $8.5 trillion digital transformation global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The focus, according to Inuwa, extends beyond a digital economy to the attainment of national digital transformation, noting the pervasive nature of digital technology in transforming industries.
He stressed the importance of positioning Nigeria’s economy to reap the benefits of digital transformation.
Inuwa added that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has mandated the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy to accelerate the nation’s economy by diversifying and enhancing productivity through digital innovation, according to Inuwa.
The NITDA boss outlined the threefold implementation strategy: reimagining Nigeria in the global economy, creating values for the ecosystem, and improving connectivity.
He aligned the nation’s strategic agenda for digital transformation with five priority areas: Knowledge, Policy, Infrastructure, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Capital, and Trade.
U.S. Consular General, Mr. Will Stephen, commended Nigeria’s efforts in digital transformation and pledged continuous collaboration. He highlighted the commendable partnerships with American big tech companies.
Future Map Foundation’s Executive Trustee, Mr. Ahmad Shuaibu, stressed Africa’s pivotal role in the ongoing technological revolution, citing the continent’s young population, rich natural resources, and entrepreneurial spirit.
The conference witnessed a significant milestone with the signing of a partnership agreement between NITDA and Venture Garden Group for the Startup Support and Engagement Portal.
Inuwa described the agreement as a “milestone and exhilarating” as it provides Nigeria’s startups access to funding as outlined in the Nigeria Startup Act 2022.