M a r k e t N e w s

Africa to Partner Israel, India, China Others On ICT Growth

Posted on : Tuesday, 25th November 2014

 AS a measure targeted at improving the growth of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Nigeria, the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has informed of plans by the country to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with countries including Israel, India, China and the United Arab Emirates.

According to NITDA, the partnership will cut across various segments of the ICT industry including eGovernance; eCommerce; hardware and software development; mobile applications; skilla development, among others.

A document by NITDA made available to The Guardian, showed that the agency was keen as building an ICT ecosystem targeted at increasing Nigeria's ICT contributions to the world.

The Director-General of NITDA, Peter Jack, who admitted that the country's ICT industry is still bereft of the required skills that will make it more competitive on the global scene, noted that this challenge and others including funding is currently been addressed by the Federal Government.

Jack stressed that India was particularly ready to partner Nigeria in the area of eGovernance. He disclosed that the deal is hoped to be concluded by end of the year with a target to also channel more Foreign Direct Investments into the ICT sector.

Indeed, at the recently held 2014 Oracle World in San Francisco, USA, earlier in the month, technology experts, who spoke at different sessions of the forum, noted that the challenge with Africa in terms of growing its technology prowess had to do with poor skills.

In fact, it was stressed that 70 per cent of the challenges facing Africa came from poor skills development.

The Executive Vice President, Oracle Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Loic Le Guisquet said though the region has been a star performer, the challenge of required and adequate skills has continued to hinder further growth of Africa.


Le Guisquet said Oracle was ready to develop ICT skills in EMEA, with special focus on Africa.

"The African continent is blessed with abundance human and natural resources, but still deficient in ICT development majorly because of poor skills, which accounts for 70 per cent of the challenges there. But we are ready to reduce that by investing hugely in the IT ecosystem across Africa", he stated.

Addressing the skills gap in Africa, Senior Vice President, Eastern Europe, CIS, Middle East and Africa, Alfonso Di Ianni said the continent needed to build a roadmap for skills development in ICT.

Di Ianni, who said the skills in Africa was yet to match the needs of the employers, noted that there was need to look at the school ecosystem from primary level to the tertiary to be able to identify where the challenges mostly lie.

As such, Jack last week at the just concluded Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) in Dubai, United Arab Emirate hinted that Nigeria is supporting the growth of ICT, especially startup innovations with N1.5 billion.

NITDA said while the N1.5 billion will be the initial capital outlay, it also hoped to get angel investors for young innovators in the country.

Jack informed that NITDA has a national ICT Strategic plan with a time line of 2010-2015, whose implementation will help in advancing the auspicious target.

He said the implementation of the plan in sectors such as education, agriculture, health, human capital development, governance, judiciary and national security, has propelled the level of development in the ICT sector in Nigeria.

Source : allafrica.com
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