Breakthroughs in medicine, technology and science through innovations and innovative products have had a significant impact on the economic advancement of the society by improving the lives of citizens and offering more opportunities which the government and the tech ecosystem can collectively leverage on.
This was made known by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy ministry, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami at the Co-Create 2022 International Tech Exhibition and Gage Awards.
The Minister who was ably represented by the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa expressed his utmost pleasure at the event which he delineated as being timely and strategic.
While describing the theme of the event ‘collaborative innovation for a better tomorrow’ as exciting, Pantami stated that the most important part of the innovative process is commercializing it.
He stated that “Innovation is a process of taking an idea from inception all the way to impact and while many people think innovation and invention mean the same thing, innovation is creating a market or democratizing access to your solution, product or services”
Underpinning his point with an illustration, the Minister cited that the telecommunications sector which was orchestrated by Mo Ibrahim in Africa about 20 years ago and which encountered so many challenges has now evolved into the biggest sector in Africa.
Giving assurances of the government’s support to Innovators in the country, he urged all players in the tech ecosystem to think and act like Mo Ibrahim with the mindset of creating solutions to solve the country’s problems.
“In Nigeria, we have many problems and we need more innovations to solve them. This kind of collaboration we are having here today can open doors for this because you cannot survive in isolation. Everything is about ecosystem”, he noted.
Buttressing his point further, the Minister holistically averred that the 5 critical stakeholders in an ecosystem are the Innovators otherwise known as the Entrepreneurs who start and grow businesses with ideas and solutions, the Human Capital Developers who discover talents and are the human components of technology, the Government who are the enablers of a level playing field for innovators, the Risk Capitals who invest money in startups and the Corporate Organizations who buy the products.
He further asserted that an effective collaboration of these 5 stakeholders in Nigeria will produce an excellent and viable ecosystem in the country. Emphasizing the present administration’s commitment to the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) by effectively collaborating with innovators in the industry, Pantami disclosed that the Federal Executive Council has approved the Ministry and Agencies under its supervision to co-create solutions with the ecosystem in areas of procurement, IP & Patenting and giving Incentives to encourage the startups.
The Minister while giving further disclosure on how co-creating with the ecosystem can be achievable, highlighted that showing clarity on processes by all parties, unleashing energy, building trust, building stronger startups and devising policies to shape the future are key indices to establishing and sustaining a formidable ecosystem in the country.
“Whatever we do, we don’t do in isolation. We work with the ecosystem to co-create policies and co-create the regulations. Whatever we do, we do together. We believe that together, we can do greater things. That is why we are here to work with you and to co-create our future”, he concluded.
The technology exhibition, which was occasioned at the Landmark Centre, Lagos had in attendance, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Science and Technology, Mr Olatunbosun Alake, the Chief Technical Officer of the African Data Centre, Dr Krish Ranganath, 100 tech exhibitors and other key players in the tech ecosystem and was geared at showcasing innovative businesses locally and across the globe with a physical presence in Nigeria.
Present at the exhibition to showcase their businesses are African Data Centre, Instincthub, Eskimi, Vantegral, Technext, Zummitafrica and many others.