India Partners Nigeria to Accelerate ICT Growth

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By Emma Okonji

The government of India, in collaboration with the federal government of Nigeria, is set to forge closer cooperation in a determined effort to accelerate growth in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), with a view to boosting both countries’ economies through greater penetration and use of advanced technologies and services.

Based on the collaboration, Nigeria and India plan a two-day international conference and exhibition, under the auspices of Indo-Africa relations, scheduled to hold on September 6th and 7th at the Eko Hotel, Lagos.

The conference is being organised by the Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC), an organisation set up by the government of India to promote and support export of telecom equipment and services.

The Indian Minister of State for Communications, Manoj Sinha, had since communicated to his Nigerian counterpart, Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, on the new partnership between both countries.

According to Sinha, “India has emerged as one of the prominent trade partners for Africa, and both regions have shown complementarities for business to expand and grow.”

 “IT and Telecom form the backbone for the growth of any country and Africa has been one of the fastest growing markets worldwide in ICT adoption and communication technology,” Sinha said.

The conference is expected to bring together over 100 ICT companies from India and many more from ICT sector from Africa and attract over 2000 visitors.

While commending the Indian government for the collaboration, Shittu welcomed the idea of the Indo-Africa ICT conference and promised Nigeria’s cooperation and participation to ensure a successful and worthwhile event for the good of India and Nigeria as well as the ICT industry in general.

“We are delighted about the idea, and from Nigeria we will put in our best to ensure the programme comes out very well,” Shittu said, adding that India and Nigeria share a lot in common, and ICT currently being very topical globally, it is in the interest of both countries to pool resources to deliver results for their common people.

According to details for the event, a key highlight will be an ICT Ministers’ Roundtable Meeting scheduled for September 6, on the guiding theme ‘Digital Vision of the Developing Nations,” a platform for ministers to present and share the ICT visions of their countries over the next five years thereby showcasing partnership opportunities that such vision would bring to the industry at large for the two regions.

TEPC is working in conjunction with the National Association of Software and Service Companies, (NASSCOM), which is the premier trade body and the chamber of commerce of the IT-BPM industries in India.

From India, some of the speakers include, Chairman of TEPC, Mr. Shyamal Ghosh; Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Tejas Networks, Sanjay Nayak; Director, Centre for Development of Telematics, Bangalore,  Mr. M Soundara kumar; Vice President and Head of Global Trade Development at NASSCOM, Shivendra Singh, among others.