Blessed with over 1.2 billion people and a huge opportunity for growth and improvement, information communications technology [ICT] offers Africa tremendous opportunity for job and wealth creation, Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Peter Jack has said.
Jack, who made this declaration at the just concluded DEMO Africa, hosted by Nigeria and sponsored by NITDA, noted that African youths are beginning to rise up to explore the power of ICT in order to create “a new lifestyle for themselves”.
DEMO Africa is one of the flagship initiatives of LIONS@FRICA and aims to connect African startups to the global ecosystem. DEMO Africa is the place where the most innovative companies from African countries get a platform to launch their products and announce to Africa and the world what they have developed. Nigeria has hosted Demo Africa twice, 2014 and 2015.
Jack said Nigeria was delighted to host its friends and partners within and outside the continent for the important technology event. “This is such an event where African ICT startups and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to show to Africa and the rest of the world their innovative products that are addressing specific challenges within our continent, and perhaps with potential for export to other parts of the world with similar challenges.”
“Africa has a huge population of over 1 billion people. Despite this contrast, Africa possesses a huge market potential for trade and investment and a huge opportunity for growth and improvement. Building the value chain that will deliver these end results has become or should become the collective responsibilities of many players across the world”, he explained, saying through ICT great companies have been birthed.
Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon are products of DEMO Africa. In Nigeria, he added, the country has witnessed the emergence of virile ICT companies such as Computer Warehouse, Interswitch, Systemspecs, Precise Financial Systems, Konga and Jumia. Pagatech, Wakanow, Jobberman, DealDey, AlliedSoft, Cinfores and iSec are some of the graduate startups from the iDEA Hub that attracted US$10m.
“Out of obscurity, from garages, campus rooms, coffee shops, lecture rooms, technology giants have doggedly and painstakingly trodden the lonely and not-too-friendly paths of innovation and entrepreneurship to become what they are today. As the saying goes, the reward of hardworking is success,” he concluded.