Driving the future of Transport Through Technology, Innovation

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Chief Executive Officer, WA-tts Co, Graham Olusanmi Lawal
  • Nigeria set to host WA-tts Summit

Mary Nnah

The future of aviation, ports, rail and road cannot be projected without fusion of technology as a major driver to ensure the success of these sectors.
The West African transport corridor is the least integrated in the world. More than ever before, there is need for a modern and multimodal transport network to efficiently connect hubs of economic activity and areas of potential growth along its alignment.
Record has it that the African continent has the highest transport costs in the world, accounting for above 20 percent of the total imported price of goods within landlocked countries. This inefficient and expensive transportation restricts business activities, global competitiveness and intra-regional trade.
With these in mind, there is therefore a need for a new transportation and technology summit (focusing on aviation, ports, rail and road) to help point direction to the future.
The 2020 West Africa TransFuture and Tech Summit (WA-tts), scheduled for September 1-3, 2020 at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Ademola Adetokunbo, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria will contribute to the breakthrough of future transportation technology like e-mobility, robotics, and artificial intelligence etc. in West Africa.
It promises to serve as a platform to address and contribute to the need for integrated and ambitious actions across West Africa, to further advance the deployment of e-mobility through the coordination and joint financing of research, development, innovation and implementation activities.
The summit boasts of many firsts in its maiden launch event; in that it has the first curated port tour as well as several technology workshops organised by the major global technology giants as part of the programme.
So far, institutional and private sector partnership and support for the summit has been unprecedented; from international organisations like the EU to the federal ministry of transportation, Lekki Port, Nigerian Export Promotion Council and the largest transport supply chain group in Estonia (Prolog) are already partners of the summit, with many more coming on board in the months to come.
Graham Olusanmi Lawal , Ceo, WA-tts Co stated that the West Africa Transfuture and Technology Summit is the first time the two vertical sectors of transportation and technology are coming together to explore and look at how new and future technologies are driving the mobility revolution and impacting the global transportation landscape thereby helping solve the challenges we face as a region.
“The event is going to be opened by the ECOWAS president and will have all the ministers of transportation and tech sectors from 16 West African countries together with solution and service providers, stakeholders, regulators as well as transport and tech practitioners,” Lawal stated.
He admitted that due to the dearth of summits/conferences that are private-sector led that bring together ministerial heads and the various arms and agencies of government in the ECOWAS sub-region in collaborative exchanges with solution and service providers, investors and other stakeholders to shape policy directions that proffer solutions to the myriad of challenges inherent in the regional transportation sector; there is now a real and present opportunity for a new summit to be born as a son of necessity to meet and address the needs, opportunities and challenges that abound within the regional transportation sector.
West Africa TransFuture & Technology is a new summit and first of its kind that explores the future of Transportation and Technology in road, rail, maritime and aviation transportation as catalysts to drive the rapid development and growth of individual states within the ECOWAS union and the region as a whole.
“The future of Transportation in West Africa must be driven by technology and innovation; from smart ports connected through intelligent integrated rail systems which link high density road networks that connect various airport runways; the Summit will showcase future technologies at the heart of the mobility revolution that will help transform transportation in West Africa.
“This summit will provide a convergence of multi-level regional government participation and public and private sector representation, with a view to sharing innovative ideas and nuanced approaches to solving the challenges we face as a regional entity by the utilization of technology in this mobility evolution that is impacting the way we move people and goods from one point to the other within the ECOWAS sub-region,” Lawal explained.
WA-tts will explore the entire gamut within the transportation and technology industry spectrum including emerging technologies in fare payment, autonomous vehicles, security, safety, intelligent, transportation system application, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and customer data information management to drive the mobility revolution within the ECOWAS sub-region.
This summit promises to provide a focused perspective on the utilization of technology in this mobility revolution that is impacting everything associated with transportation infrastructure and services.
The WA-tts Summit will help the industry rise up to the challenges of the ever-moving transportation landscape and an evolving public transportation industry, bringing together many of the leading local and international experts in the transportation and technology industry.