More than 10,000 participants and notable technology thought leaders converged in Lagos for Techplus 2016 including the Chairperson of Alliance for Affordable Internet Dr. Omobola Johnson and other tech experts have highlighted Nigeria’s key role in Africa’s highly anticipated technology revolution.
Johnson in her opening remark said developments in technology are fundamentally altering the way people live, connect, communicate and transact. These developments, in her view, have had profound effects on economic development in Nigeria and Africa at large. According to her, to promote tech advancement, developing countries should invest in quality education for youth, continuous skills training for workers and managers for all stakeholders to understand the importance of the continuous revolution.
She added that technology has now become a key driver to development, because technological revolutions underpin economic advances, improvements in business, health systems, education and infrastructure. Her words, “The technological revolutions of the 21st century are emerging from entirely new sectors, based on micro-processors, telecommunications, bio-technology and nano-technology. Products are transforming business practices across the economy, as well as the lives of all who have access to their effects. The most remarkable breakthroughs will come from the interaction of insights and applications arising when these technologies converge”.
Also speaking at the event, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation/Youth Employment, Mr. Afolabi Imuokhuede who represented the Vice President, noted that access and application of technology has become quite critical in today’s society. He stressed that service and technology are the differentiators between countries that are able to tackle poverty effectively by growing and developing their economies, and those that can’t.
He said, the extent to which developing economies emerge as economic powerhouses depends on their ability to grasp and apply insights from science and technology and use them creatively.
“Innovation is the primary driver of technological growth and drives higher living standards. As an engine of growth, the potential of technology is endless.
Mr. Afolabi disclosed further, Technology is a major leapfrogging element to economic diversification; hence the federal government has developed a blueprint to key into the smart city initiative of Lagos State and come up with other initiatives to promote technology appreciation and adoption to an appreciable level with the multiplier effect on the economy.
Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN Nigeria, Linda Saint-Nwafor who represented the Managing Director, highlighted the importance of the Techplus conference to technology promotion and adoption in Nigeria’s ecosystem. Saying, it’s a gathering to debate, interact and share ideas that will benefit everyone.
As a technology company,we are always at the forefront of promoting any idea that supports technology discussion and its merits to business at all level, she said.
Mr. Tunji Adeyinka, Managing Director of Connect Marketing – organizers of the conference – added that, Techplus has come at the right time to tap into the buzz surrounding technology in the country. His words; “We see our platform as a catalyst which will bring together the entire ecosystem. When we started we were looking to create a platform that would allow companies, individuals and businesses in the tech space to bring together customers, clients and for all players to showcase their products and services. Before now, we had lots of talk shops, but this event is meant to be a practical opportunity to talk about technology and feel the impact that technology has on different facets of life both from a business perspective and from a consumer perspective.”
The theme for this year’s event is ‘A Connected World’. This could not have come at a more auspicious time as Cisco had predicted there will be 20.8 billion connected devices by 2020. Techplus seeks to highlight the increasing connecting nature of the world and identify Nigeria’s role in this new global reality through a variety of different ‘tracks’
From government’s increasing commitment to the development of the ICT sector, to the rapid emergence of innovation hubs and incubators across the country, it is clear that technology is on the brink of revolutionizing the country and Techplus is gravitating towards becoming a key part of this dialogue.