NITDA Highlights Regional Collaboration @ GITEX Africa

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The director of corporate planning and strategy, National Information Technology Development Agency, Dr. Aristotle Onumo (left) with other panellists shortly after their session.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has emphasised the importance of regional collaboration in accelerating digital transformation across Africa, providing opportunities that can propel the continent into a digital era of innovation and inclusive development.

GITEX Africa, the region’s inaugural technology exhibition, brought together industry leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and innovators to discuss and showcase advancements in technology.

The event served as an ideal platform for organisations to foster dialogue, showcase innovative solutions and forge partnerships to harness the potential of the digital age. NITDA’s participation focused on fostering collaborations, sharing best practices and addressing the challenges hindering Africa’s digital growth.

The director of corporate planning and strategy at NITDA, Dr. Aristotle Onumo, who represented the agency’s director-general, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi and participated in two panel sessions themed “Accelerating Digital Transformation in Africa: Strategies, Challenges, and Opportunities” and “Fast-tracking to an Integrated and Inclusive Digital Public Infrastructure”.

In his presentations, Onumo discussed the role of technology in driving economic growth, job creation, and the development of the digital economy on the continent. He highlighted the need for African countries to invest in digital infrastructure, skills development and policy reforms to fully reap the benefits of digital transformation.

Onumo also stressed the importance of collaboration between governments, academia, industry, venture capitalists and the tech community to accelerate digital transformation in Africa. He called on African countries to work together to develop common standards and regulations for the digital economy and to promote the adoption of digital technologies across all sectors of the economy.

He further referenced the progress made through the African Free Trade Agreement and African Smart Alliance and urged sustained efforts toward a common digital identity for Africa.

Furthermore, he highlighted Africa’s challenges in digital transformation, including the lack of adequate infrastructure, digital skills and digital inclusion. He pointed out the need for more investments in human capital development.

Despite these challenges, Onumo expressed confidence in Africa’s potential to become a major player in the global digital economy. He called on all stakeholders to collaborate and seize the opportunities presented by digital transformation.

Sharing NITDA’s insights and expertise on digital transformation, particularly the development of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2024), he stated, “Technology is a key driver of economic growth and job creation in Africa. We need to invest in digital infrastructure and develop our own digital strategies to fully reap the benefits of the digital revolution.

“Public-private partnerships are essential for driving digital transformation in Africa. We need to work together to create a more inclusive and sustainable digital future for the continent.”

Onumo reiterated NITDA’s commitment to supporting the digital transformation of Nigeria and Africa. The agency is collaborating with governments, the private sector and the tech community to develop and implement policies, programs, and initiatives that will accelerate digital transformation on the continent.

“An example of such collaboration is the development of the Nigeria Startup Act, which the ecosystem regards as the game changer that will further catalyse the industry and make Nigeria a global startup destination,” he further stated.

The panel sessions featured experts and representatives from governments, businesses, and the tech community across Africa. The discussions were lively and productive, and there was a clear consensus among the participants that digital transformation is essential for Africa’s economic development.

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