Nigeria Takes Global Stage in Romania as Minister Recounts Digital Economy Succeses

By Na'ankwat Dariem, Abuja

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Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Professor Isa Pantami has informed global  leaders in the Information and Communications Technology sector of the gains and achievements recorded in the Nigerian digital economy sector.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Minister’s Spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman in Bucharest, Romania.

Professor Pantami while addressing Heads of delegation and policy makers at the on-going International Telecommunications Union Plenipotentiary Conference, ITU PP2 in Bucharest, Romania noted that, “Nigeria’s digital economy is the fastest growing sector in the nation’s economy and the only sector that grew by double digits at the peak of the Covid – 19 pandemic.

“Furthermore the sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last three years has been unprecedented. In the first quarter of 2020, the sector contributed more than fo to Nigeria’s GDP, In the second quarter of 2021, the sector contributed 17.90% percent  while the current statistics stands at an unprecedented 18.44%,” He said.

The Minister further informed his audience that five, out of the seven unicorns in Africa originated from Nigeria and by implication, Nigeria currently contributes over 70% of the entire unicorns in Africa.

Professor Pantami emphasised that the establishment of two virtual academies during the pandemic, dedicated to the empowerment of citizens with digital skills, and the various partnerships with global technology giants to train ten million citizens in the next two to three years have played a significant role in the success story of Nigeria’s digital economy.

Nigeria Startup Law

He said “The Nigeria Startup Law, which is in its advanced stage, aimed at providing an enabling environment for indigenous innovators, to provide solutions to existing national and global challenges is also a significant achievement in the sector.”

He reiterated that the development of nineteen national policies, all of which are in various stages of implementation, have facilitated the quantum leap recorded by the sector.

These national policies are in the areas of developmental regulation, Infrastructure, digital skills, indigenous content development among others.

Pantami also used the opportunity to commend the International Telecommunications Union for its efforts at global digital transformation.

The International Telecommunication Union, ITU’ is the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies, ICTs, driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of over 900 companies, universities, and international and regional organisations.

Shaping Global Digitalrowth 

Delegates at the quadrennial conference include government ministers and officials, representatives from national, regional, and international bodies, academic institutions, and the private sector companies dealing with telecommunications and the Internet reflecting an aspect of ITU’s membership mix that is unique in the UN system.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres highlighted the opportunity to form common positions that will shape global digital transformation for years to come and urged delegates to “seize the opportunities of digital technology while protecting against its risks.” 

In a pre-recorded video message, he called on the high-level audience from government and industry to put “humanity’s progress at the centre of your discussions” over the next three weeks.

PP-22 Chair-designate and Head of Romania’s parliamentary Information Technology and Communications Commission Sabin Sărmaș,  said “In a world increasingly dependent on technology, ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference is an opportunity to address crucial topics that will shape our digital future for generations to come.

“Our primary goal – to improve people’s lives – can only be achieved by adopting a shared policy blueprint reflecting green, gender, and youth inclusion priorities. This is what I, along with the Government of Romania, will stand for during PP-22.” 

How The Conference Works 

The Plenipotentiary Conference, held every four years, enables nations and governments to reach coordinated decisions on the advancement of vital technologies.

PP-22 provides a crucial forum for governments spanning every world region to build consensus on the radio and satellite harmonization, telecom standardization, and digital development.


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