Ministers to Chart Africa’s Future ICT at Nigerian Summit

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By Emma Okonji

As new technologies and innovations emerge and become ubiquitous and demanding, African communications ministers led by Nigeria’s Communications Minister, Adebayo Shittu, and his Ghanaian counter, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, will discuss and design the future roadmap for Africa’s ICT at a summit billed to hold in Nigeria from September 6 to 7.
African ministers, with their Indian counterpart, Shri Manoj Sinha, are determined to fashion the future of Africa’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry.
The occasion is the Indo-Africa ICT Expo & Summit 2017, a two-day forum designed to strengthen the Indo-African relations and essentially to move the African ICT industry to greater heights with the theme ‘Digital Dreams of Developing Nations’.

The Director-General, Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC), Shri Rajesk Kumar Bhatnagar, the body set up by the Indian Government to organise the event, said the programme presents African ICT experts, the unique opportunity to present and review their nations’ ICT plans over short, medium and long term periods.
“Digital Transformation is the need of the time for all the developing world and nations in Africa and India can share their experiences on embracing digital technologies, digital competencies, digital literacy for re-inventing lives and changes covering all aspects of human society in the respective nations,” Shri Bhatnagar noted.

Other topics for the conference also range from training, regulation in telecom sector, convergence of IT and Telecom, e-Health, e-Governance, e-education, e-finance, infrastructure, new technologies, standardisation,spectrum auction and optimisation, licensing, evolving needs of consumers, service providers, among others.
India’s giant strides in ICTs are globally recognised as a shiny example for all developing economies to emulate, hence, this event being organised by the TEPC in conjunction with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) of India, offers the African continent a huge opportunity to learn and adopt new strategies for technology growths.

Newly appointed Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications, Alhaji Abdulaziz M. Abdullahi; the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar G. Danbatta; Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Managing Directors of Galaxy Backbone, Mr. Yusuf Kazaure and Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited, Mrs. Abimbola Alale, as well as the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Abubakar Aziz are top on the list of speakers and dignitaries for the event.

Key industry associations in Nigeria, including the Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN); Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON); Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON); Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON); Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) as well as the Computers and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), have thrown their weight behind the event with full participation.

According to the organisers, a key highlight of the event will be the ICT Ministers’ Roundtable Meeting scheduled for September 6, with the 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. With lots of opportunities for SMEs, the event will also showcase the best of the telecom and IT industry from Africa and India.