How COVID-19 has accelerated innovation and digital transformation


National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Director General Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi said the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit global economies has also helped accelerate the digital transformation journey of most savings in a much faster way than imagined.

Abdulahi further said that the pandemic has fueled the innate ability of tech-savvy people to become more dramatic and forced them to develop disruptive solutions that provide opportunities for a more convenient online presence with less disruption, leading to the digital innovation and the Internet economy which have improved the digital economy.

Abdullahi said this during his presentation at the 8th edition of the International Data Corporation (IDC) West Africa CIO Summit 2021, which was recently held under the theme: “Innovation strategies evolving on demand for new realities are exciting ”.

He cited the 2020 Africa Economy reports, which found that by 2025, the value of the internet economy in Africa will reach $ 180 billion, accounting for about 5.2% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country. continent and by 2050 its projection is estimated at $ 712 billion, or about 8.5 percent of the continent’s GDP.

According to Abdullahi, “Innovation is driving the growth of the Internet economy and has inspired three digital capabilities; first, ubiquitous data, which is used to make decisions and have information at all times.

“Second, unlimited connectivity, especially the Internet of Things (IoT), which makes it easy to connect and learn things. Finally, Massive Computing Processing Power, which has no limit to what can be processed. These capabilities are the inspiration that drives innovation and creates demand in the digital age. “

He added: “Global advancements and digital technologies are making the world a better place. We are inspired to deliver rapid business innovations and new customer value prepositions. African start-ups with unique business models, digital transformation platforms and services that create incredible value with significant impact on human lives and the economy, indicating that Africa will not miss the fourth revolution industrial unlike the first, second and third eras where we lost in the creation and capture of values ​​across the world.

He told the global audience that in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari had laid the groundwork for a digital Nigeria by expanding the mandate of the Ministry of Communications to cover the digital economy, including the Minister of Communications and Digital economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has a greater focus the vision of the digitization of the country.

“In 2019, the ministry formulated a National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria, which serves as the basis for creating and capturing value from innovation in the digital economy.

“The implementation of the strategies within two years had a significant impact on the economy, with the digital sector being the fastest growing sector, which saved the country from the COVID-19 induced session. Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategies have developed the Strategic Economic Roadmap and Action Plan 2021-2024 with the aim of articulating new strategies for the Nigerian ecosystem in line with the current aspirations of the government which were based on seven strategic pillars, namely: development regulation, digital literacy and digital skills, digital transformation, digital innovation and entrepreneurship, cybersecurity and emerging technologies.

He explained to the audience that part of NDEPS is to develop and innovate solutions using emerging technologies such as: artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others, to provide quality life, education, poverty eradication, health and well-being.

Abdullahi encouraged CIOs of organizations to focus more on launching digital innovation strategies taking into account global digital trends and new realities.

“Every organization or country is unique and has its own unique characteristics, but digital strategies will provide a map for your journey. Our dream in Africa is to be digitally self-sufficient and to become a digital hub for the export of digital services, a key driver of digital transformation and a frontier for a dynamic and highly competitive digital economy.

“Our young population, our location and our time zone are our competitive age, and we CIOs are the engines of our dreams in our respective organizations and countries, being proactive and responding to the opportunities offered by technological innovations,” said Abdullahi.

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