To start this off, the MoCT coordinated a Ministerial Roundtable with IBM to identifying technology adoption opportunities in the country and promoting the exchange of ideas between key government officials and IBM’s senior leadership team.
IBM earlier identified several “Grand Challenges” of concern to much of Africa and Nigeria in the areas of water and sanitation, energy management, financial services, human mobility (including transportation) and public safety, healthcare and agriculture.
The roundtable was aimed at initiating conversations between IBM subject matter experts and a high level Government team with the Ministries’ most affected by these “Grand Challenges” represented by their Ministers or Permanent Secretaries.
They focused on the various processes necessary for facilitating the adoption of Smart Government solutions to develop Nigeria’s healthcare delivery, government to citizen engagement, transparency and accountability in government and deploying ICTs for inclusive development.
Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson, said: “Technology is a key driver of economic and social development that should be adopted to facilitate the development of key sectors of the economy for the benefit of Nigerians.”
She added that the ministry has the commitment of ensuring that ICT is leveraged to enhance and facilitate the transformational development of Nigeria in critical sectors of the economy.
Ginni Rometty , IBM’s chairman and CEO, highlighted IBM’s historic ties to Africa’s most populous nation, and expressed support for Nigeria’s technology development agenda being coordinated by the Ministry of Communication Technology (MoCT).
“Technology innovation is a key ingredient for social and economic transformation, and critical for crossing the innovation divide. I am encouraged to see the Ministry of Communication Technology spearheading technology reforms in Nigeria, encouraging investment in key building blocks of growth such as education and skills, digital and physical infrastructure and scientific and technical research,” said Rometty.
She underscored IBM’s capacity to plug into the local technology ecosystem, supporting e-commerce and e-government initiatives, spurring the transfer and commercialization of new technologies from academia to industry, and deploying IBM’s proven assets and research capabilities to help resolve some of Africa’s most pressing challenges such as energy, water, human mobility, agriculture, healthcare, financial inclusion and public safety.
Government and IBM officials will work together through IBM Research Africa Lab.