The African ICT Foundation (AfICTF) is optimistic that going by the track records of the newly appointed Minister of Communications, Dr. Ali Isa Ibrahim (Pantami) on the pursuit of the Federal Government of Nigeria local content policy as well as data protection at the Nigeria Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) there will be improved patronage made in Nigeria IT hardware and software.
The Foundation made the observation in a congratulatory message to Dr. Pantami, the former Director General of NITDA following his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari last week as Minister of Communication.
In the congratulatory message signed by President of the Foundation, Mr. Tony Ojobo, it commended President Buhari for appointing a core ICT professional to manage the Communications Ministry noting that the industry should leapfrog into a new beginning when the new minister goes into work.
According to Ojobo, the former NITDA Director-General has a formidable track record at the NITDA which prompted his choice for the Ministry saying that NITDA’s unwavering commitment to local content under Pantami, enhanced the purchase of indigenous brand of ICT devices by over 60% within the last three years.
He said that local hosting of data doubled in value and local software consumption has significantly increased and that there was also a cumulative effect of these efforts is that ICT contribution to GDP reached an unprecedented mark of 13.63% in Q4 of 2018.
While expressing the commitment of the AfICTF to the growth of the industry through its advocacy role, Ojobo said that the Foundation has been involved across Africa empowering Africans with digital skills through its programme of skills acquisition and ICT penetration.
He noted that AfICTF recently launched the series of its digital marketing programme, the e-Reputation and Social Media workshop for young entrepreneurs from the Republic of Benin in Cotonou.
The workshop exposed young entrepreneurs to how they can use the social media to drive their business, master your communication, choose your communication vectors, occupy the communication space, stay consistent and manage the security of your accounts.
According to him the Foundation has unveiled its two years development plan for ICT in Africa and AfICTF seeks collaboration with the Ministry in the area of ICT skill development, broadband penetration and patronage of local content as well as policy formulation.
He recalled that under Pantami, NITDA issued several policies, guidelines, and frameworks to help stimulate broadband penetration in the country such as the Framework and Guidelines for Public Internet Access, Guidelines for Clearance of IT Project by Public Institutions, NITDA Public Key Infrastructure Regulations, Framework on Data Localization and Local Content Policy.
He noted that replicating such feat through office as Minister of Communications facilitate the implementation such policies and guidelines adding that AfICTF is aware that under him over 660 IT intervention centers were established nationwide, Digital Divide Bridging Centers, Digital Job Creation Centers, Campus Area Networks for educational institutions, e-Learning Centers for educational institutions, Virtual/Digital Library Centers and IT hubs.
Ojobo said that AfICTF certain of the achievement of the 70-80 per cent broadband penetration as endorsed by the industry with Pantami at the helm of affairs at the Ministry of Communications and with all stakeholders support building a broadband ecosystem that will help improve existing broadband services and significantly increase broadband penetration in the country is sure.