A call for participation has gone out for eNigeria 2013 themed: “Local Content in ICT Development in Nigeria: The Journey so Far”. The event organized annually by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) takes place from December 3 – 5, 2013. Venue is: Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja. Time is: 9AM Daily.
Just like last year the conference seeks to provide answers to the question of local content in ICT in Nigeria. Jidaw notes that there has been so much activity and talk. The question is how far has the nation come? Is it just talk, or has there been substance? At Jidaw we insist that local content development in ICT is a core requirement for meaningful participation in today’s knowledge society. Consumption alone (download-only) is not the desired form of digital involvement. To avoid e-slavery, Nigeria must wake up to need to build consequential ICT strengths locally.
No time for wasteful “talkshops”
However, ideas require action. Talk is cheap. Jidaw insists that without genuine commitment and well thought through policies achieving meaningful impact through local content development in ICT may just be a pipe dream. So there have been projects and initiatives, it appears NITDA now wants to take stock. What is really happening on the ground in the area of local content development in ICT? What is the private sector doing? Is the public sector on board? What about the social and educational sectors? Jidaw expects frank, constructive multistakeholder engagement. This is no time for wasteful “talkshops”
According to the release from NITDA, “The 2012 edition of eNigeria with the theme “Local Content in ICT Development in Nigeria” examined the nonexistence of technology exports and very low level of patronage of locally produced ICT products including hardware and software. Stakeholders at the summit rightly observed that while the country appears to be fully abreast with technological advancements and global innovation, the economic value generated locally with the imported technologies used by Nigerians is far below that of our indigenous technologies. In view of the foregoing, the stakeholders agreed to adopt ICT local content development as the central issue to be addressed in subsequent e-Nigeria conferences until the country achieves optimum level in balance of trade in the ICT sector. The 2013 edition of eNigeria is therefore focusing on achievements in ICT local content initiatives”.
Listed Sub Themes are:
- Inclusive Growth Through ICT Local Content Development in Nigeria;
- National Policy Space for ICT Local Content Development;
- Sectoral Assesment of ICT Local Content Development in Agriculture, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Education, Health, eGovernance and Financial Sectors;
- Implementing National Guidelines for Promoting ICT Local Content in Nigeria;
- Financing ICT Projects: Options for Entrepreneurs.
The release also states that the Objectives are to:
- Evaluate progress and success of the buy “Made in Nigeria ICT Products and Services” campaign;
- Develop requisite framework for global competitiveness of indigenous ICT products and services;
- Develop framework for providing critical employment through outsourcing and other digital opportunity windows;
- Examine funding options and factors militating against ICT local content development in the country;
- Develop strategies for leveraging on technology transfer and Nigerians in diaspora for developing the ICT industry in the country
The Host is: Dr. A.S. Daura – Ag. Director-General NITDA, while Chief Host: Mrs Omobola Johnson, Hon. Minister of Communication Technology.
Content appears loaded and inclusive. Expectations are high. Despite having enormous potential why are there still critical issues concerning overall quality of life? ICT needs to be making more impact. Jidaw asks: Are the strategies and priorities right? Is the nation deriving value from its investment? Is there an appropriate knowledge culture encouraging local development content in ICT? Jidaw wishes NITDA and all participants meaningful deliberations. The nation is screaming for more.
HAVE YOUR SAY: What is your take on local development in ICT in Nigeria? Where are the opportunities, What are the challenges? Please share your comments, thoughts and opinions.
Innovation and Development Advisor, ICT at Jidaw
ICT Development Advisory Support and Consulting