The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa has said that the digital age presents a unique opportunity for Nigeria and Africa to emerge the global leaders in the fourth industrial revolution if they harness the abundant human talent the continent is blessed with.
He disclosed that the fourth industrial revolution is about human resources, and the continent has the greatest human talent on earth.
Inuwa made this known in Abuja while speaking at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Youth and Students Summit (CYSS) for the African Region.
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.”
Inuwa, 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,” Inuwa 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,” Inuwa assured.
“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.
He however said, “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.”
The NITDA Boss added that the Agency 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 1 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 came up with a strategy to help address them.