Microsoft Nigeria has reiterated the company’s commitment to collaborating with the Federal Government of Nigeria and other stakeholders in the IT industry to put structure in place to further aid ICT development in the country.
National Technology Officer, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Olayinka Oni said this last week at the Lagos Business School where he addressed the Executive MBA class as a guest speaker.
While delivering his keynote address titled ‘Nigeria in the Information Age: The role and capacity of Government’, Oni said that for Africa to improve its economic and global competitiveness, it is pertinent to place ICT at the nerve centre of its activities. He drew example from advanced countries with an explanation that they enjoy their present status because of their technological advancement.
Oni commended the strides taken by the present administration in advancing ICT, one of which is the inauguration of the Broadband Council to drive the implementation of the recently-approved National Broadband Plan 2013-2018 by the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson.
Another noteworthy effort of the ministry is the funding of Incubation Centres created solely to foster innovation and the development of locally relevant apps by people with great ideas but without the wherewithal to execute.
According to him, Microsoft has over the years explored various ways at developing innovative products and services to improve the way Africans communicate at work, at home and on the go. The most recent being the generation of novel ideas which includes the 4Afrika initiative designed to empower African youth, entrepreneurs, developers, businesses and civic leaders to turn great ideas into a reality that can help their community, their country, the Continent, and beyond.
“Under the initiative, Microsoft will help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of young Africans, bring one million SMEs online by providing high-speed broadband using Super Wi-Fi technology, up-skill 100,000 members of Africa’s existing workforce, and help an additional 100,000 recent graduates develop skills for employability, 75 percent of which Microsoft will help place in jobs”, added Oni.
Explaining that cloud computing has the potential to transform the region, Olayinka noted that it enables global growth for businesses in emerging markets who are seeking to engage world markets in spite of lack of traditional infrastructure.
Concluding, Oni spoke about Microsoft’s recently launched initiative, CityNext, an initiative that Microsoft and her global partner ecosystem are uniquely positioned to enable a people-first approach through their end-to-end software, devices and services capabilities that meet a range of needs from the consumer-related demands of citizens to the mission-critical, enterprise demands of city operations.
In his words “No other company offers the broad portfolio of familiar, secure software, devices and services; the experienced network of hundreds of thousands of partners worldwide with relationships in nearly every major city around the globe; and the history of successful education and training programs, which collectively, propel cities toward what’s next”.
Earlier, in her welcome address, Faculty Director and IS Faculty, Lagos Business School, Dr. Olayinka David-West said, “the role of Government in the development of an IT-enabled environment is integral to private sectors adoption of IT”. She also emphasised that “the environment in which we operate and the strategies we want to adopt can either be aided or hindered by Government’s participation.”.
The Executive MBA (EMBA) class is made up of working professionals, with more than 7 years of experience working in different business sectors. The EMBA are management practitioners seeking to improve their managerial practices and leadership skills.