Describing the intention of NITDA to be on creating ‘ ICT based SMEs’, Dr. Olatunji expressed his confidence that this is a sure way of not only helping to diversify the economy but also creating youth employment that the Nation urgently needs. “The way we live and we love and work have gone online, so there’s need for NITDA to build up capacity to sustain these online activities and ensure maximum benefits are derived from it”, says the DG.
While enumerating the comparative advantages of having Nigeria as destination point for the growing digital economy in Africa, Dr. Olatunji listed Nigeria’s size, English language, and high rate of education as some of the key advantages potential investors in this new economy will be looking at. In addition to that, a veritable platform to expose these tech-preneurs is also being vigorously pursued by NITDA using various avenues. Some of these includes the e-Nigeria Conference and Expo, which he described as “clearing house for adopting relevant ideas and innovation for defining and accelerating national economic growth”. The conference is structured to bring key players of the Nigerian innovation ecosystem and foreign and local stakeholders together to share experiences, identify challenges and propose strategies for using ICT-enabled innovation and entrepreneurship to diversify the economy and create jobs.
In a similar vein, the Agency is also using the annual GiTEX Technology show organised by the Dubai World Trade Centre, (DWTC) to also showcase the quality and potentials of local technology startups. NITDA is facilitating Nigeria’s participation at three levels including the Nigerian Pavilion, Nigerian Startups cobs inside the Innovation Hub, and the Gitex Africa Investment Forum being co-managed by the NITDA and the DWTC.
“All these levels of participation are designed to ensure maximum exposure to ICT and other non-oil sectors which is a cardinal economic goal of the current government under President Muhammadu Buhari. Dubai has become an international hub for business engagements. The NITDA has already opened talks with several business prospects through the support of the DWTC and the Consular Office in Dubai.
Since Nigeria started participating in Gitex, which is billed to kick-off October 16- 20 this year at the Dubai World Trade Centre, this is going to be the first time it’ll be showcasing tech startups at the global show. While making a pledge to always interact with online and conventional media on NITDA activities, the DG also promised to extend all aspects of media partnership with the Agency which includes training, empowerment and access to the online media community, describing them as “veritable agents of change in the digital age”.
Watch the short video below . . .