Some experts in the information and communication technology (ICT) industry have stressed the need to accelerate innovation which they say remains the best path to drive inclusive growth.
The tech experts among who are C-Suite executives, founders, presidents of companies/organisations, presidents of industry associations, start-ups/entrepreneurs and government officials, among others, unanimously agreed on this at the 2021 Africa Tech Alliance Forum (AfriTECH2021) held in Lagos.
They said that building infrastructure to extend internet access in underserved areas would drive digital transformation across the board.
The executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, stated that following the advent of COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a change in the dynamics of people’s interaction, especially, on the Internet.
Danbatta, who was represented by the director, Spectrum Administration at NCC, Oluwatoyin Asaju, said almost every means of communication has become virtual in one way or the other.
“Already, we are set for the auction of some spectrum slots in the 3.5GHz band. The other day I was at the national assembly, I informed the senate that we were 95 per cent ready for 5G. Today as we speak, I am delighted to tell you that we are already at 97 per cent completion,” he said at #AfriTECH2021.”
The director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said with the advent of new technologies occasioned by the fourth industrial revolution, it has become imperative to increase Africa’s level of preparedness and develop capacity of the youth.
Abdullahi, who was represented by the director, IT Infrastructure Solutions at NITDA, Dr. Usman Gambo Abdullahi, said the fourth industrial revolution will continue to fundamentally alter the way humans live, work, and relate to one another.
He added: “We need to look at the educational sector and focus more on skills and research that can be used to develop the economy. People should not see education as the end but means to the end. We need to look for ways to disabuse people’s mind on paper qualification and inculcate in them those skills required for the imminent industrial revolution and also focus more on science and technology.”