The Nigerian government, through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, has pledged to strengthen its partnership with industry stakeholders to foster innovation, provide vast opportunities and build a thriving tech innovation ecosystem in Africa.
This commitment was emphasised during the inaugural edition of the Global Tech Africa (GTA) Summit, a transformative initiative designed to ignite a spark of innovation that will shape the continent’s digital future.
Organized in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the United States Consulate General, Ascends Studios Foundation and Future Map Foundation, the summit aimed to explore the limitless potential at the intersection of innovation, technology and human progress.
The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. William Alo highlighted the potential of technological advancements to bridge gaps, promote inclusivity and spur economic growth. He praised the summit for congregating some of the best minds in the industry and expressed optimism in shaping a future where access to technology becomes a fundamental right for all Africans.
The director-general of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, delivered the keynote address, acknowledging Africa’s abundant talent, untapped potential and vibrant youthful population, positioning the continent to play a crucial role in the global tech ecosystem. He stressed the need for unity to harness the vast opportunities in e-commerce, fintech and the digital economy under the banner of Global Tech Africa (GTA).
Abdullahi highlighted the three steps that would unlock Africa’s potential in the digital economy. He emphasised that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is about talent and technology, and Africa possesses the talent that complements the technology of the developed world. He called for talent development in Africa, citing a projected global talent deficit by 2030, which could lead to an annualised value of USD8.5 trillion.
To create a strong ecosystem, Abdullahi emphasised the importance of collaboration with key stakeholders, including educational institutions, corporate organisations, entrepreneurs, venture capital, and the government. He highlighted the value of an innovation ecosystem, citing its worth of more than USD 5 billion.
Abdullahi acknowledged the current weakness in the ecosystem and the need to rebuild trust among stakeholders to foster a healthy social contract within the system. He outlined the government’s role in providing both rule-based and non-rule-based regulations to create a market for innovation, protect consumers, and improve service delivery efficiency.
The summit featured other notable speakers, including the United States Consular General, Will Stevens; Co-founder of Digital Life Design (DLD), Steffi Czerny; Co-founder of Venture Garden Group, Bunmi Akinyemiju; GTA representative, Emmanuel Tarfa and the convener, Dr. Inya Lawal.
The GTA Summit stands as a platform to position Africans at the forefront of innovation, growth and prosperity. Through collaboration and innovation, Africa can unlock its boundless potential, forging a future where technology drives positive change and creates opportunities for all.