Osinbajo Urges African Leaders to Establish Special Agencies for Continent’s Technological Growth

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Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has tasked African leaders to establish special agencies that will steer Africa’s technical rebirth with strong commitment.

He stated this Tuesday at the opening section of the 6th edition of Digital Africa holding in Abuja.

The vice president, who was represented by the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu said: “It has been argued that before the European invasion of Africa, medicine, for instance, in some African countries was more advanced than Medicine in Europe.

“However, we failed to innovate, and we were overtaken by European and American countries. We now rely on health techs from the west to confront our health challenges here. We must therefore, raise our tertiary education standards, especially in the area of technology, if we must expect a boost in performance across economic sectors.”

Osinbajo stressed the need for governments in Africa to approach the continent’s technological rebirth with strong commitment, saying they should consider establishing special agencies that will steer Africa’s gradual technological rebirth.

“Such agencies should be charged with the financing of innovation, e-commerce, strategic management of intellectual capital and property, promotion of technological development through partnership and the use of such networks as knowledge bases, virtual corporation and virtual centres of excellence”, he added.

Speaking further the vice president said that the federal government will create a Creative and Technology Council to support innovations and startups in the creative industry.

“Furthermore, the federal government would set up a creativity and Technology Council to support innovation and startup in the creative industry. We already have an industrial and competitiveness council where the likes of Dangote and the bigger business already advise on policy.

“Whereas the creative and the technology advisory council would involve people doing startups, creative and the entertainment industry, the industrial and competitiveness council which 1 chair, bigger players in the industry proffer solutions and advice on polices that could improve the nation’s business environment.”

He further added that the federal Ministry of Communications strongly believes that there cannot be any meaningful development in the country without a commensurate level of development and use of technology.

He said: “We at the Federal Ministry of Communications strongly believe that Nigeria cannot have any meaningful development without a commensurate level of development and use of technology applications and tools as prerequisites to speedy national development.
“Therefore, from whichever way you look at it, information and communications Technology is very vital and pivotal for whatever any country wants to do in order to achieve development.”

He stated that the Ministry is mandated by the federal government to promote and facilitate the development of the ICT industry and increase its contributions to the Gross Domestic Production (GDP).

The Chairman of Digital Africa, Dr. Evans Woherem said that the 6th edition will look at the past, present and future of Africa with regards to science and technology in order to determine where the country lost it in the past and how it can get it right as Africa is the cradle of civilization, adding that African leaders must take development seriously as most of them pay lip service to development.