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GITEX 2018: Nigeria Gears Up To Promote Innovation

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TheGulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) is the premier technology event in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The event annually hosts over 184, 000 trade visitors and delegates from more than 140 countries and over 4000 world class exhibitors from about 97 countries. GITEX Technology Week is a five-day event which is one of the biggest technology gatherings for governments and top decision makers in the world.

To expand Nigeria’s portfolio of technology opportunities, ensure the country’s effective participation at this year’s GITEX and to also expose her startups, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is gearing up to expose the various rich indigenous innovations of Nigeria at the event that holds from October 14 to 18, 2018 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Speaking at the inauguration of the GITEX 2018 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) in Abuja, the director-general of NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said the agency remained firm and committed to promoting technology deployment and building Nigeria’s local IT industry to world standard through participation in global events that further expose the players to trends in the industry.

He urged the GITEX LOC to explore rather than exploit opportunities at improving Nigeria’s participation at such global events.

“To explore requires that we keep thinking of how better a thing can be no matter the level of success already achieved. To exploit is to be contented with our achievement and not to desire to improve or to be dynamic to keep raising the bar. I urge you all to explore new ideas and new ways at which we can improve our continuous participation at GITEX, an international event and eNigeria, our own national event that is already having an international clout,” he said.

The GITEX LOC which draws members from both public and private sectors has since gone to work with sub-committees for startups, pavilion management, media and sector profiling, and the GITEX LOC secretariat. Members were enlisted from the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Bank of Industry, NIGCOMSAT Limited and Nigerian Export Promotion Council. Others are from the Nigeria Computer Society and Pinnacle International Consulting LLC, the DWTC Sole Representative for GITEX in Nigeria and West Africa.

In his remarks, the GITEX LOC chairman Dr Agu Collins Agu, who is also the director of corporate planning and strategy at NITDA said the committee planned to engage the international community and leverage on continuous exposure of Nigeria’s investment potential in the IT sector. “We need every member of the LOC to come up with strategic ideas on how the country can best leverage on this international exposure in line with how the director-general has tasked us all,” he said.

Similarly, the alternate chairman of the GITEX LOC and director of eGovernment development and regulation at NITDA, Dr Vincent Olatunji said: “NITDA is seeking to expose our young and talented startups to investors, global IT buyers and tech acquisition specialists keen to know more about the country and willing to explore partnerships and business opportunities.”

A statement by the agency’s head of corporate affairs and external relations, Hadiza Umar said the LOC was expected to firm up invitations to those who will make the official list of Nigeria’s official delegation as well as manage the select exhibitors inside the Nigerian Country Pavilion. Nigeria will be joining about 97 other countries to promote and explore technology opportunities, especially as the country seeks to improve the value of its non-oil sectors to her GDP.

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