President of the Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN), Mrs Florence Seriki, has called for more attention on the development of Information and Communication Technology ICT market in Africa. She made the call because of the huge potential that abounds in the region.
Mrs Seriki, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Omatek Ventures Plc., made the call following her election as the new vice chairman of the African region for the World Information Technology and Services Advisory Board (WITSA) in Mexico recently.
WITSA, organisers of the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) in Guadalajara, Mexico, is a consortium of associations from the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry around the world. Founded in 1978, the group represents over 90 per cent of the world ICT markets, through its global membership, and has a goal of advancing the growth and development of the ICT industry.
It participates in advocacy in international public policy that affects the global information infrastructure. With her election, Mrs Seriki will join other elected members including Nizar Zakka who will represent the Middle East and North Africa; Yannis Sirrors for Europe; Boris Komrakov for Europe; Silvia Bidart for Latin America; Takashi Igarashi for Asia Pacific and John Kyle for the Carribean to steer the ship of the global IT body for the next two years.
The ITAN president made similar show last year, when she led Nigerian IT industry operators to the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) in Dubai. Also with her election, Nigeria becomes one of the four countries in Africa to retain its seat on the advisory board of WITSA.
Other African countries represented on the board are Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. In her presentation shortly before the election, Mrs Seriki told the meeting that the time was ripe for Africa to take its pride of place in the scheme of IT development in the world.
She said that in her new role as African representative, she would reposition Africa for economic development. “There was a need for the world to focus more attention on the development of ICT in African continent because of the huge potential that abound in the region,” she said.
Although she noted that enabling policy development had been the bane of growth of the sector, Mrs Seriki said this has informed her doggedness and determination to ensure that Africa is well positioned in terms of policy development. She hinted that Nigeria and Ghana had adopted the local content development initiative that would enable both countries develop its local potential in the area of IT.
Seriki noted that this would lead to creation of more jobs for the citizens of both countries, stressing that “we are fighting for enabling policy to make Nigeria and Africa grow its economy.”
She further said: “We have started production of locally manufactured IT products to forestall Africa becoming a dumping ground for the world.
We will no longer be a continent for dumping ground of finished products from around the world. We can make something that will compete with every other product on our own.”