Adoption of digital technologies presents more opportunities for Africa to partake as a front seat driver in the 4th Industrial revolution, providing avenue for Africa to diversify and further boost its economy, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said.
Inuwa stated this while delivering a keynote address at the 9th Annual Summit of Africa Information and Communication Technologies Alliance (AfICTA) Webinar with the theme: “Accelerated Digitalization for Economic Revolution in Africa: Prospects and Challenges”.
Represented by Engr. Salisu Kaka, the Acting Director, Digital Economy Department, the NITDA boss said, “Implementing a nationwide digital transformation is not a straightforward venture. It is plagued with intricacies, risks, and other encumbrances. African leaders must champion digitalization by first, showing commitment and willingness to engender and support the culture of digitalization”.
The DG added that Nigeria is been regarded as Africa’s largest ICT market with 82% of the continent’s telecommunication subscribers and 29% of internet usage, while the Sub Saharan Africa is projected to be the fastest growing region with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.6% and an additional subscribers enrolment of over 167 million in the next five years.
Inuwa asserted that the adoption of digital technologies may help increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any country, and the development of digital technologies will further help diversify its exports, thus increasing sources of foreign exchange earnings.
“Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) document by Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has presented strategic pillars necessary for the nation’s digitalization drive, which includes; Developmental Regulation, Digital literacy and Skills, Solid Infrastructure, Service Infrastructure, Digital Society and Emerging Technologies, and Indigenous content development and adoption. These 8 strategic pillars were further broken down into Strategy document by Agencies under the Ministry for implementation.
“NITDA has developed a Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2024) towards implementation of the NDEPS. There are various initiative of projects and programs designed to give effect to the SRAP document. Other sister Agencies under the Ministry have also done their strategic initiatives as well”, he added.
He said accelerating the digitalization of the economy of any nation is not a responsibility of Government alone. There is the strong need for any serious government to make deliberate effort to identify relevant entities that can be instrumental to the achievement of a national digitalization and engaged them on a continuous basis. Thus, the effort put in place by AfICTA is a step in the right direction and Africa as a continent should be proud of AfICTA.