e-Nigeria to become African  ICT Conference Exhibition by 2020

Na'ankwat Dariem

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The annual e-Nigeria Conference, Exhibition and Award is to transform into African Information Technology Conference and Exhibition by 2020 with the objective of integrating other African countries to the conference.

The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA Dr. Isa Pantam said this in Abuja,while inaugurating the Local Organising Committees, LOCs for e-Nigeria and Gulf Information Technology Exhibition, GITEX 2019.

The e-Nigeria Conference, Exhibitions and Awards is NITDA’s annual flagship event that brings
stakeholders together in the Nigeria IT ecosystem.

GITEX on the other hand, is the biggest technology show in the  Middle East and third biggest technology show in the world.

It tcreates platform for countries to share knowledge and experience and also provides space for start-ups to meet Venture Capitalists and
Angle Investors.

Dr Pantami explained that the Management of the Agency was discussing with the NITDA Governing Board to consider the proposal of co opting 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.

Seeking Investments
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.

Dr Pantami challenged the committee members to come up with disruptive ideas that would challenge 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 stated.

On e-Nigeria, the DG  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.
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.”

Nigeria’s IT Challenges
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 Pantami urged 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.

He added that 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.

Confidence Okwuchi