The Digital age offers a unique opportunity for Nigeria and rest of Africa to emerge as global leaders in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) if the abundant human talents on the continent is well harnessed, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi has expressed during the just ended Commonwealth Youth and Students Summit (CYSS) for the African Region.
He said that the 4IR is about human resources, and the continent has the greatest human talent on earth but this would remain unrealisable potential if not properly harnessed with the right strategies.
The five-day event which ran from the 8th – the 12th of May 2023 was organised by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in partnership with NITDA and other relevant stakeholders in commemoration of 50 years of the Commonwealth Youth Programme with the theme “Co-creating our Common Future: Leadership in the Digital Age in Africa.”
While highlighting how Africa can harness its unique potential said there are three steps; firstly, by embracing digital innovation, which is a process of moving an idea from conception to impact, and the idea is where problem and solution meet.
“We have several challenges in Africa that need to be solved and technology, especially digital, is an enabler and it can help us to solve these problems,” he said.
“Secondly, there is a need to invest in talent, according to Korn Ferry, by 2030 there will be 85 million talent deficits globally, all developed countries will be having this deficit from 6 million to 8 million talent deficits only India will have a surplus of 1 million.”
“But Africa will have all the tech to bridge this gap and become a global talent factory.
“Thirdly, there is a need to be able to produce a credible digital ecosystem where there can be co-creation and synergy in making decisions.
He added that the IT regulatory and development agency believes in collaboration with other stakeholders to drive the required change theme.
“At NITDA, we believe in co-creation, and we have been a youth-centered Agency. All our activities are built around the youths, and we co-create our policies and regulations with the ecosystem.”
According to him, “NITDA has developed a playbook that ensures youths are carried along. He added that the playbook has five steps which include clarity of all initiatives, training of one million developers, building trust between the government and the ecosystem, and working to getting to win the digital age because it is said that the future is digital and it is arriving faster than we expected.”
The highlight of the event was the launch of the “Nigeria We Want” Report by Leap Africa which identified the entrepreneurial and innovation gaps; and the required strategies to help address them.