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Pantami Chairs WSIS Forum 2022, Says His Appointment a Win for Africa

ByYinka Okeowo

May 30, 2022
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Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has described his appointment as the Chairman World Summit on Information Societies Forum (WSIS) as a win not just for Nigeria, but the African continent as a whole.

The Minister, according to a statement by his Spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, made this remark today, Monday 30th May 2022 at a meeting with Mr Houlin Zhou, the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), at the Union’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Pantami at ITU office as WSIS Summit chairman 2
L-r: Houlin Zhou, Secretary General of ITU during a meeting with Professor Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

“We are very pleased about the recognition accorded us based on our modest achievements within the sector particularly on our continent and by extension, we consider the appointment not as a personal or national recognition but as a continental achievement because Nigeria is strategically the leader of the continent, the most populous country in Africa with the biggest and the largest economy on the continent among other things, so occupying this position as the giant of Africa is an honour for Africa and an opportunity for us to continue to contribute our quota to the success of our sector globally. We assure you that we will give the maximum attention it requires.”

Professor Pantami, the chairman of WSIS Summit 2022 also noted that “the sector has the support of the Federal Government of Nigeria and particularly President Muhammadu Buhari whose interventions have made the achievements in the sector possible.

Recall that the Minister was appointed as forum chairman for the 2022 Summit and is to retain the position for a year.

Earlier, Mr Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has called on Professor Pantami to use his good offices as Chairman of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to encourage the participation of other relevant sectors like education and agriculture, in the WIS process. 

This, he said, will enable the engagement of the global agriculture sector in the use of technologies to enhance food production and the use of emerging technologies to enhance education, among others.

Pantami at ITU office as WSIS Summit chairman 1
Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy leads Nigeria’s team to ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

“We have tried to engage Ministers of agriculture in various countries but we have not made the desired headway, so your excellency if you can help us enforce this strategy, it will make a difference. Nigeria occupies a very important position in Africa and the world and especially with your achievements in the ICT sector, we believe your influence will make a notable difference”.

Professor Pantami while thanking the Secretary General for the confidence reposed in him by his appointment as forum chairman, assured that he will take up the challenge and ensure global participation of the relevant sectors in advancing the WSIS process across the globe.

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