Nigeria, Ghana agree to drive mutual IT agenda

By Peter Oluka   |   24 June 2016   |   4:22 am

ICT

National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigeria’s IT clearinghouse and the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Ghana’s agency responsible for implementing IT policies have agreed to collaborate on common grounds as it affects both countries IT sector.

The two agencies met over the weekend in Accra, Ghana to assess mutual areas of interest and how the two economic powerhouses in West Africa can leverage on ICT to better improve the economic potentials of these countries.

Both countries are to work on agreeable terms to define the nature and scope of the partnership to cover among others: human capital development, ICT startups and entrepreneurship schemes, local content, cybersecurity and smart city.

The areas of cooperation will also cover mutual support for each countries IT related events or such public sector led IT events designed to draw investments and developments to the two countries.

“The need for us as neighbours and as developing countries to identify common goals and common strategies’ within the sub-region to approach issues as relating to IT is both important and desirous now so as to raise the economic fortunes of our two countries, said Dr Vincent Olatunji, acting Director General /CEO of the NITDA.

“We welcome a partnership with Nigeria and see it as exigent to actualising our own mandate as a counterpart IT agency in Ghana. We consider partnership as an essential element of growth and look to maximising this partnership,” said CEO of the NITA, Mr. George Atta-Boatang.

According to Atta-Boatang, NITA was established in 2008 as an IT projects-based public service institution and has so far championed internet diffusion in Ghana as well as provide the framework for data warehousing for both public and private institutions in Ghana.

It is currently working to commission the 10, 000 seats BPO/Outsourcing centre in Accra, touted to be the largest in West Africa as Ghana prepares to be a major hub for BPO/Outsourcing in West Africa.

Atta-Boateng said NITA is relatively young compared to the NITDA and has had to draw on some inspiring input from the NITDA in marshalling its own current structure as a policy driven IT agency from its original orientation as a project driven one.

In response, Olatunji said that NITDA considers a working relationship with the NITA as a partnership that should thicken and inspire IT-led collaborations with other West African countries within the framework of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

“We share a common IT destiny,” said the NITDA’s boss while elaborating on NITDA’s effort to strengthen the value of IT within Nigeria’s public and private organisations. The NITDA has invested massively in human capital in Nigeria to build an army of IT savvies. In addition to expanding the boundaries of internet usage across countries, it has provided the framework to bolster the use of the .ng domain names by Nigerian entities”, he said.

Like NITA, it is building stronger institutional bases to champion startups and ICT entrepreneurships as well as ensure achievable landmarks for Nigeria’s local content policy. “These and many more provide a strong base for collaborations between our two countries,” said the NITDA’s boss added.

Mrs. Hadiza Umar, head, Corporate Affairs at NITDA, said that the meeting was chaired by Dr. Sola Afolabi, former acting Deputy Executive Secretary of the ECOWAS, who urged the two countries to accelerate the processes for collaborations at both bilateral, country-to-country level as well as regional level within the larger ECOWAS window. In attendance at the meeting from NITDA were Head of Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Hadiza Umar and Head of Legal Services and Board Matters, Barr. Emmanuel Edet.


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