… TEPC earmarks $10bn for Indo-Africa
UGO AMADI, Business Editor
Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has called for more collaborative efforts with India to deepen Nigeria’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector growth.This was contained in Shittu’s keynote address, during the Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2017, organised by the Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) in partnership with NASSCOM, themed: ‘Digital Vision of Developing Nations’held in Lagos.
Unexpectedly, the India Government said, it has set aside $10 billion for Indo-Africa trade aimed at promoting ICT innovation and development across African continent.The Minister said that the partnership would ensure that Nigerian businesses tap into reservoir of knowledge among their Indian counterparts and develop technology-based solutions for the Nigerian, African and even the global market.According to him, there are numerous opportunities for partnerships between both public and private sector of Nigeria and India.
”I implore Indian investors to explore areas to further enhance the lives of our people through technology.
”Nigeria has huge unmet ICT demand and businesses that were apprehensive till some time back have realised the potential of ICT and are willing to invest in this sector.”The unmet ICT demand in Nigeria offer huge opportunities for Indian companies, arising in segment such as products and services related to mobility, security solution, telecommunications, education, capacity building among others,” he said.
Shittu said that according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), out of the 940 million people living in the least developed countries, most of them being in Africa, only 89 million people use the internet, corresponding to a 9.5 per cent penetration rate.He said that ITU had projected that by the end of 2017, only 50 per cent households in developing countries would have access, compared with more than 80 per cent in the developing countries.
According to him, these statistics are a clear call for the need to identify opportunities for collaboration, sharing best practices and exploring inclusive technologies to drive the world into a truly connected community.
In his presentation , the Chairman, Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC), Shyamal Ghosh unveiled that through the Indo-Africa trade arrangement, India has facilitated an investment worth about $10 billion to the African Continent in the last few years.
According to him these investments have brought India closer to the Africa region, stressing that ICT remains a key area for global development being an enabler of all other growths. Ghosh said for the development of ICT in Africa, telecommunications should be priotised, stressing that above all, government’s support is critical to making the sector more efficient.
According to him, India is an ideal partner for Africa because of the development the sector has witnessed since its revolution started. The Director-General, of TEPC, Shri Rajesk Kumar Bhatnagar, said the “Digital Transformation is the need of the time for all the developing world and nations in Africa and India to share their experiences on embracing digital technologies, digital competencies, digital literacy for re-inventing lives, and changes covering all aspects of human society in the respective nations.”
Also speaking ,minister for Communications, Government of India , Mr. Manoj Sinha said that the Country globally recognised as an outstanding example to all developing economies in Information and Communications Technologies, ICTs., has shown interest in assisting Nigeria actualize its digital economy initiatives. Sinha reflected on how India has grown to be the world’s largest sourcing destination for the Information and Communications Technology, ICT, industry, accounting for approximately 67 per cent of the $124-130 billion market.According to him, an efficient national identity management system is strategic to achieving digital economy, particularly in delivering services to the citizens.
He said that India’s investment footprints in Africa have always depicted ICT as critical to opening up the Continent for other sectorial growths such as telecoms, e-Governance, e-Health, agro-technology, ecommerce, among others.
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