The National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) has inaugurated the Local Organising Committees, (LOCs) for e-Nigeria and Gulf Information Technology Exhibition, (GITEX) 2019. The agency also announced plans to make its annual technology event to be more pan-African and metamorphose into the African Information Technology Conference and Exhibition by 2020.
The e-Nigeria Conference, Exhibitions and Awards is NITDA’s annual flagship event that brings stakeholders together in the Nigeria IT ecosystem while the GITEX is the biggest technology show in the Middle East and third biggest technology show in the whole world that creates platform for countries to share knowledge and experience and also provides space for start-ups to meet venture capitalists and angle investors.
Nigeria has increasingly leveraged the GITEX platform to explore collaborations, expose its local ICT companies including startups and seek to share the Nigerian authentic narrative as investors’ haven.
Inaugurating the committees this week at the NITDA Corporate Headquarter, Abuja, he Director General and the CEO of NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, challenged the committee members to come up with disruptive ideas that will heighten the successes recorded in the previous years.
“I have directed my colleagues at NITDA to look at disruptive ideas; we have to challenge our successes after 365 days and do what will surpass the achievements recorded last year, I therefore hope these two committees will do intensive and extensive works to see to the successes of these national assignments,“ he said.
On e-Nigeria, the NITDA’s boss specifically tasked the LOC to consider it as national assignment and put in their best efforts with the view of ensuring a successful outing at the event.
He said; “e-Nigeria is very dear to us as IT stakeholders and as a nation because of the importance the leadership of the country attached to the development of IT sector. I advise you to see it as a rare opportunity to serve in the committee that has attracted presidential present in two consecutive years within his first term in office.” He added that, “apart from budget presentation that the President attends every year, its only e-Nigeria that can boast of playing host to the president on two successive occasions.
While briefing the committee members on the theme of this year event-“Leveraging Technology and Indigenous Innovation to Attain Sustainable Development Goals, (SDG),” Dr Pantami advised that members can come up with other suggestions that could address Nigeria’s IT challenges. “Nothing is casted on the stone, if you have a strong conviction that this theme should be amended please do not hesitate to suggest another one to us.”
On GITEX, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami charged the committee members to improve on Nigeria’s presence at the annual Technology and Investment gathering of over 200, 000 people from more than 145 countries.
The committee must explore new ways through which the country can leverage the opportunities in GITEX to bring the much desired benefits and goals for participating in GITEX.
He urged members drawn from across sectors to think out new ways of bolstering the country’s image globally and seeking investments in the technology sector where Nigeria and her growing number of startups have demonstrated great potentials.
In the same vein, the Director General has disclosed that by the year 2020, the annual e-Nigeria Conference, Exhibition and Award would metamorphose into African Information Technology Conference and Award with the objective of integrating other African countries to the conference.
Dr Pantami explained that the management of the agency is discussing with the NITDA boverning board to consider the proposal of coopting other African countries to the conference and make it a continental events.
“We have a lot to learn from other African countries that are doing extremely well in IT sector. This will create a platform form for peer review between Nigeria and some other selected African countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Morocco, Ghana, Botswana and host of others’, he said.