Nigeria as a country must embrace digital transformation that is currently sweeping across globe. Also, Africa as a continent has been urged to innovate and digitally transform its activities in line with global technology trends. These were the views expressed by participants who gathered in Lagos recently, for the Disruptive Africa Conference.
Addressing the issue of innovative disruptions with regards to telecommunications, the Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, Dr. Bayo Adekanmbi, said: “Telecommunications operators in the country have built ecosystem of solutions that will drive technology innovation in the telecoms sector, by creating relevant contents that are serving the needs of customers.”
According to him, the current shift from voice communication to data communication, demands that voice-based application be developed to further enhance customer experience in data communication such that customers could use voice to prompt their data and give it command to execute multi-task activities.
Head of Department, Organisational Behaviour at the Pan- Atlantic University, Dr. Eugene Ohu, called for increased awareness on education that would boost technology innovation. He said rather than copying new products and solutions from developed countries of the world, Nigerians could build on existing products and solutions to drive technology innovation.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, Cymantiks Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Okoye, however called for the development of technology solutions that would address issues in the science and technology space. According to him, majority of Nigerians were yet to feel the impact of technology in agriculture. He said Africans needed to develop the right technology tools that would address the needs of several Nigerians in agriculture and other sectors of the economy.
Speaking in the same vein, the Founder, CWG Plc who is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Columbia Business School, Mr. Austin Okere, said Nigeria needed an all inclusive technology framework that would address the needs of every Nigerian. He called on government to consider the feelings and needs of the masses during economic planning and ensure that government follows up on issues affecting the masses. He said government had refused to take advantage of the country’s population to provide services that meet the needs and aspirations of the masses, which he said could be barrier to digital transformation.
He expressed dissatisfaction over the abandonment of the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) project by the federal government, that was conceptualised in 2004, to provide broadband bandwidth to tertiary institutions for the purposes of research and development.
Worried about government’s withdrawal from financing the NgREN project, Okere said it would affect research and development in tertiary institutions, as well as broadband penetration for the country.