DG NITDA advocates for pan-africanism in harnessing digital economy

L-R: National Director, NCAIR, Engr. Ya’u Garba and Ag. Director CPS, NITDA, Dr Aristotle Onumo at the just concluded GITEX Africa in Morocco

…as Nigeria startup wins $10,000 prize at GITEX Africa

By Ibiyemi Mathew with agency report

The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa has harped on the need for pan-africanism to harvest the benefits of the digital economy in Africa.

Inuwa, who was represented by Dr Aristotle Onumo, said this while addressing Council of African Information and Technology Agencies (CAITA) Meeting of the Smart Africa Initiative at GITEX Africa in Morocco, where representatives from various nations came together to discuss key issues pertaining to digital transformation and technology development on the continent.

The DG stressed the importance of alliance in addressing the challenges faced by African nations and harnessing the potential of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to drive socio-economic development.

He reiterated NITDA’s commitment to driving digital innovation and transformation in Nigeria, while also acknowledging the pivotal role played by the Smart Africa Initiative in fostering pan-African cooperation in the digital space.

Inuwa also said that Nigeria is investing heavily in digital skills development, with a number of initiatives aimed at training young people in the latest digital technologies.

He also expressed Nigeria commitment to collaborating with CAITA and other African nations to collectively address challenges and explore opportunities in the digital realm, while emphasising the need for increased investment in research and development, capacity building, and policy harmonisation to foster a vibrant and inclusive digital ecosystem across the African continent.

He said, “Nigeria is committed to the Africa Smart Alliance, and that it will continue working with other African countries to build a more inclusive and prosperous digital Africa. Nigeria is confident that the Africa Smart Alliance will help to bridge the digital divide on the continent, and that it will help to accelerate the pace of economic development in Africa.”

In a remarkable display of innovation and entrepreneurship, a Nigerian startup, Nearpays Technology Limited has emerged best in the Fintech and Blockchain category of the Supernova Challenge at GITEX Africa, Morocco.

Nearpays was awarded a cash prize of $10,000 and free all-expenses trip to GITEX Global to be hosted by the Dubai World Trade Center in the United Arab Emirates, in October, 2023.

Nearpays is a full-service financial payment platform that acts as an end-to-end financial service for clients. It has various features to simplify online payments as much as possible, based on the principle that payments should be seamless. It also offers a wide range of services including personal and corporate banking, virtual debit cards, and online banking.

The platform, founded by Victor Daniyan, uses blockchain technology to create a decentralised payment and makes the network more secure and efficient than traditional payment systems.

The CEO and Co-founder of Nearspays,Victor Daniyan while appreciating the honour, said that the award is a “significant milestone” for the company and that it would “help us to further accelerate our growth and expansion plans.”

He also said that it was “an honour to represent Nigeria at the global stage” and that they are “committed to using technology to solve some of the most pressing challenges facing Africa.”

As Nigerian startups continue to shine on the global stage, they are reshaping the narrative around Africa’s tech potential.

With their innovative ideas, entrepreneurial drive, and the support of the government and international investors, Nigerian startups are poised to drive a transformative change, positioning the country at the forefront of technological innovation in Africa and beyond.