DR Isa Pantami, the director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has said that e-Nigeria will become Africa’s Information Communication Technology conference and exhibition by 2020.
Pantami spoke while inaugurating the Local Organising Committee (LOCs) for e-Nigeria and the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) for the year, according to a statement by Mrs Hadiza Umar, head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations Unit of NITDA.
e-Nigeria Conference, Exhibitions and Awards is NITDA’s annual flagship event that brings stakeholders together in the Nigeria Information Technology ecosystem.
GITEX, on the other hand, is the biggest technology show in the Middle East and third biggest technology show in the world.
It creates a platform for countries to share knowledge and experience and as well provides space for start-ups to meet venture capitalists and investors.
The director-general urged the committees to come up with ideas that would surpass the successes of previous years’ exhibitions.
“We want the LOC to consider e-Nigeria as a national assignment and put in their best efforts with the view of ensuring a successful outing at the event.
“e-Nigeria is very dear to us as IT stakeholders and as a nation because of the importance the leadership of the country attaches to the development of IT sector. So, see it as a rare opportunity to serve.
“e-Nigeria will metamorphose into African Information Technology Conference and Exhibition by 2020, with the objective of integrating other African countries to the conference.
“The management of the agency is discussing with the NITDA’s Governing Board to consider the proposal of co-opting other African countries to the conference and making it a continental event,” he said.
Pantami added, “we have a lot to learn from other African countries that are doing extremely well in ICT sector.’’
He said that engaging other countries would create a platform for peer review between Nigeria and such African countries as Kenya, Rwanda, Morocco, Ghana and Botswana.
He suggested ‘Leveraging Technology and Indigenous Innovation to Attain Sustainable Development Goals’ as the theme of the exhibition.
Pantami said GITEX attracted over 200,000 participants from more than 145 countries and urged the committee to improve the country’s presence at the annual technology and investment gathering.
He further urged the committee to explore new ways through which the country could leverage the opportunities in GITEX to bring the much desired benefits and goals for participants at the event.
GITEX, which usually takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE, is expected to hold from October 6 to10.