Nigeria is formally confirmed as the GITEX Official Country Partner for 2014 having fulfilled all financial obligations to become the key focus for the biggest technology show in the Middle East, Africa and south East Asia (MEASA).
In a year that the continent’s most populous country of 175 million has out-paced South Africa to become the biggest economy in Africa, Nigeria will headline the major themes in Gitex 2014 to attract positive international interest to its burgeoning information technology sector. GITEX holds in Dubai every October and event is almost 30 years old. A formal announcement is expected in the weeks ahead.
“We are happy to have Nigeria partnering with Gitex this year and believe this will impact positively on the Nigeria’s technology sector,” said Bilal Al-Rais, Commercial Director,
Exhibitions & Events Management at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), organizers of the Gitex technology tradeshow.
Al-Rais led the DWTC team that was in the country in February this year to finalize Nigeria’s participation in Gitex. The team included Mr. Akande Ojo, President of Pinnacle LLC, Gitex partner for Nigeria and West Africa and Mr. Segun Oruame, CEO of Knowhow Media International (KMI), in-country partner for Pinnacle operations in Nigeria and West Africa.
“We are proud that Nigeria’s great potential will be exposed to the international technology investing community,” said Akande. “Our commitment is to promote Nigeria’s potential to the global community to explore both partnerships and new suites of investment in different areas of our technology sector,” said Dr Ashiru Daura, acting Director General of the Nigeria Informational Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
The Gitex Technology is the premier technology event in MEASA and occupies over 78,000 sqm of space, and records over 139,530 trade visitors from 144 countries. More than 35,000 visitors came from Africa in the 2013 edition of GITEX where Nigeria premiered its presence by setting up the Nigerian Pavilion which was promoted by the Nigerian Government through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
This year, Nigeria hopes to further leverage on the global exposure presented by the GITEX to spotlight its local software industry and other sub IT sectors by occupying the centre of activities at the five day event as GITEX Official Country Partner.
Reputed as a tradeshow that brings global IT businesses together, being a GITEX Official Country Partner would among others enable Nigeria to increase its brand presence on a global scale where more than 140,000 trade visitors will understand what Nigeria have to offer; allow the country leverage from the GITEX global marketing and PR campaign worth over USD 37 million and also break down the perception of the risks associated with working in Nigeria’s flourishing but often misrepresented technology sector.
In addition, show promises to attract partnerships and business ventures with the Nigerian technology start ups/ incubators, which the Ministry of Communications Technology (ComTech) is currently championing through the NITDA. Africa’s most populated country of over 170 million could also win the interests of investors for its various in-country projects to increase its FDI; and open up channels of dialogue between NITDA and other similar government bodies from Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Nigeria has a burgeoning technology market despite its being grossly under-infrastructure, which policy makers in Abuja consider as offering exciting investment opportunities. Part of the ComTech’s new target to achieve a Digital Economy in 2015 for the country include broadband penetration (12%), ICT Contribution to GDP (5%), Internet penetration (34%), mobile penetration (80 per 100), Internet users (70 million), and number of registered ICT companies 350.