Nigeria’s Minister of Communications Technology, Barr. Adebayo Shittu has announced his ministry’s support and endorsement of the 2017 edition of the Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition. The Conference themed “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Getting Africa Ready” is billed to hold June 6-8, 2017 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, FCT.
Speaking in his office in Abuja while welcoming a delegation from Digital Africa Global Consult, organizers of the annual flagship continental tech show, who were on a courtesy visit to the Minister, Barr. Shittu, noted that the support of the ministry should be taken as very much assured as any sufficiently good initiative that will engender grand benefits not only to the Ministry but to the country will be wholeheartedly supported.
According to the Minister, “We are committed to support Digital Africa in its laudable endeavour for Africa and vision to bridge the gap between her and the rest of the world in ICT. We therefore extend our goodwill not only to Digital Africa but also to Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition 2017. Let me reiterate that an end must come to Nigeria being a dumping ground, therefore, the Ministry will support the establishment of companies or organisations in the area of hardware and software by ensuring that they are protected through regulations or otherwise.
“We will assist them to grow. We have accepted that Nigeria must take the leadership role in Africa's ICT ecosystem. Therefore, we are amenable to PPP relationships to drive the Ministry's project; 2017 must be a year of action.”
Barr. Shittu said it was part of government’s preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is predicted to happen globally in the near future that the Federal Government had planned to build a national ICT park and Exhibition Centre in the Federal Capital Territory. The minister stated that the establishment of the centre will encourage investment in the ICT sector and complement the proposed ICT University which will also produce the required skilled manpower for Africa to partake in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Earlier in his speech, Dr. Evans Woherem, chairman of Digital Africa Global Consult had told the Minister that the delegation was in his office to brief him about preparations for the 2017 Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition, and to formally invite him to the event.
He said the theme of this year’s event was chosen because of the anticipated challenges and disruptions that are going to be caused by exponential technologies such as Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Big Data and Analytics, Biotech and Virtual/ Augmented reality that are ushering in the 4IR and the need for Africa to be a functional member of the 4th Industrial Revolution era.
He further pointed that the rapid urbanization of African cities will put lots of pressures and challenges on transportation and urban roads. Technology will serve as a solution to these challenges. The advent of driverless/connected cars provide solutions to road accidents as these vehicles would be intelligent enough to detect and avoid road accidents.
Dr. Woherem noted that it was in this light that Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition was created to build a platform for an annual technology show aimed at bringing together exhibitors from Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world to Abuja to showcase their new innovations.
He added that the event also provides a platform through which organizations can come to showcase and speak on their innovations, as well as a platform for people to gather to listen to presentations from experts from across the world and discuss how to evolve Africa’s technology ecosystem.