By Chimezie Godfrey
With consideration to the immense natural and human resources inherent in Africa which can be leveraged to enhance technological advancement in the continent, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa has expressed the believe that effective collaborations among the nations in the continent would build a formidable and greater Information Technology (IT) ecosystem.
The NITDA Director General made this declaration at the corporate headquarters of the Agency in Abuja during the day one of the 3 day working visit of the Ghanaian National Information Technology Agency (NITA) delegation led by its Director General, Mr. Richard Okyere Fosu to understudy Nigeria’s IT regulatory instruments, policy documents and seek possible areas of collaboration.
Describing the visit of the delegation from Ghana as a step in the right direction towards the development of Africa’s IT ecosystem, Inuwa stated that it was an imperative collaboration needed to achieve a common goal.
Stating that no one can succeed in isolation, he asserted that “if we really want to succeed as a continent, we need to collaborate, we need to work together. We need to learn from our experiences and share expertise so that we can work and grow together”.
He noted further that the Nigerian government has transcended from enforcing regulations on the ecosystem but has rather identified collaboration as critical, in creating an enabling environment for the ecosystem to thrive and flourish.
Stating that IT is borderless, the NITDA boss said that the agency had developed various regulatory instruments, policy documents and initiatives to create an enviable IT ecosystem in the country which has been making huge impacts within the continent and globally.
While confidently stating that Africa has a competitive advantage of talent and population in the fourth industrial revolution, Inuwa opined that a symbiotic relationship between the two countries would engender disruptive innovations that will solve many challenges pervading the continent.
“This kind of visit will strengthen the relationship between our two agencies and build a stronger IT ecosystem in Africa. We are doing well in Nigeria but we want everybody to do well when it comes to technology”, he noted.
The NITDA Director General then proceeded to make a presentation on an overview of the Agency, its guiding strategies and strategic initiatives which have been instrumental in driving economic growth and prosperity with a focus on creating a knowledge-based economy that can compete with the best in the world.
In his presentation on the regulatory environment and various regulatory instruments, the Agency’s Head, Legal Unit, Barrister Emmanuel Edet made reference to the Startup Act and Code of Practice in which the agency uses intelligent frameworks to develop regulations towards a sustainable digital economy.
In his remark, Mr. Fosu appreciated the efforts being made by NITDA in fortifying and fostering the nation’s IT ecosystem toward a sustainable digital economy.
He disclosed that NITA’s supervising ministry has similarly expanded its mandate to include digitalization and is now known as the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation which in his opinion has brought out the importance of digitalisation.
While giving assurances of keying into NITDA’s regulatory instruments and implementation of policy documents, Fosu expressed his agency’s commitment to work closely with NITDA in bridging the gaps identified in Ghana and Africa as a whole.
“This is not a one-time visit but we will definitely come back. We have come to learn and hope that we can make the needed impact in Ghana”, he stated.
The NITDA DG then took the Ghanian delegates on a tour of the agency’s Computer emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) unit.