GE Harps on Data Localisation, Diversification 

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Emma Okonji

GE, the world’s premier Digital Industrial Company has stressed the need for data localisation and diversification for faster economic growth. 

It stated this in the Nigeria Report of the 2018 GE Global Innovation Barometer, which was the sixth edition.

The report titled ‘From Chaos to Confidence: Emerging Players, Emerging Technologies, Emerging Challenges,’ was launched at the weekend.

The Nigeria Report, which sampled 80 Innovation Business Executives, was unveiled in Lagos, as part of events celebrating GE’s operation in Africa for over 120 years. 

In his opening remarks, the President and CEO, GE Africa, Mr. Farid Fezoua, said: “Innovation and technology are fundamental for Africa to be able to compete in a global frame work. “Localisation is also important and innovation needs to be tailored to the specificities of local needs. We need to develop home-grown solutions for Africa.” 

He noted that training programs like the GE Lagos Garage, aimed at Nigerian entrepreneurs, would help to support local innovation in the country. 

The Nigeria Report was part of the Global Innovation Barometer that surveyed 2,090 business executives across 20 countries, Nigeria inclusive. 

While presenting the findings of the survey report, the Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer, GE Africa, Patricia Obozuwa, explained that multinationals continued to take the lead in driving innovation, which conforms to the global narrative. Obozuwa, stated that 36 per cent of Nigerian business executives said multinationals drive innovation compared to the global figure of 23 per cent. 

The report findings also showed that SMEs were also viewed as key driver of innovation over-indexing against the global figure by 12 percentage points, with Nigeria 23 per cent, and global 11 per cent.

Among other findings, the survey revealed that attitudes towards 3D printing are positive in Nigeria. Almost nine in ten business executives believe 3D printing would have a positive impact on businesses at 88 per cent.  

The results of the survey were further explored and discussed by a panel of experts which included Partner, Synergy Capital Managers, Dr. Akintoye Akindele; Co-founder, Impact Hub, Solape Hammond; Co-founder/CEO, Afrigrants, Thelma Ekiyor and Director, Ondo State Information Technology Agency, Olumbe Akinkugbe. 

The panel recommended several strategies to encourage SME innovation in Nigeria including close collaboration between the public and private sector. 

In his key note speech, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Secretary to State Government, Mrs. Folasade Jaji, said: “Through its activities, GE has supported economic growth in Africa within a period spanning over 120 years. 

“It has also been a key partner in progress in Nigeria where it has operated for over four decades. We are delighted to note that GE is providing support that will enable us leverage on the emerging potentials of the 24/7 economy of Lagos mega city and a location of first choice for investors.”