Digital Vision of Developing Nations

  • November 7, 2017

It is estimated that Africa will attract up to 300 billion USD of investment in the next 10 years in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) alone. Investments will range in the core IT infrastructure (Fibre Network, Satellites, Mobile Broadband Networks, Data Centres, Terminal Equipment,), Content and Applications (in key socio-economic sectors on both the private and public space) and last but not the least, in capacity building.

Thus, there could have been no time like the present for an event like the Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2017, which was organized from September 6-7, 2017, at Lagos, Nigeria, by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the IT association of India, and the Telecom Equipment and Services Exports Promotion Council (TEPC), the Telecom association of India, to reiterate the relationship and commitment between India and African countries for trade and growth.

The theme of the conference was: Digital Vision of Developing Nations.

The event encapsulated strategies and learning’s in ICT which have the potential of unlocking huge demand of ICT services across multiple domains. The conference provided a platform to network, meet and shape the future.

The Indian delegation was led by Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Communications, India, Mr Manoj Sinha, who shared his views through a video message as he could not be present at the event. Mr Sinha, in a personal letter to his Nigerian counterpart, His Excellency, Barrister Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, Nigerian Minister of Communications, wrote that “India has emerged as one of the prominent trade partners for Africa,” adding that both regions “have shown complementarities for business to expand and grow.”

The expo brought together over 200 companies from India and Africa for the conference and attracted over 2000 visitors to the exhibition. The two-day event had a conference, and over 60+ Indian companies from the IT and Telecom sector participated in the expo.

NASSCOM had roped in ITAN (its counter-part association) to be the host for the event in Nigeria and TEPC had requested Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), (telecom associations in Nigeria) to support the event.

Other supporting associations were Indian Professionals Forum (IPF), Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) as well as the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) to make the event a full industry-focused programme.

It was for the first time that so many associations, as well as the local government, came together on a common platform created by the private sector (TEPC and NASSCOM). Ovation Inc., a 360 degree branding and integrated marketing communication company, was the event manager for the event.

The previous two successful events were organized in Nairobi, Kenya. The event in Africa has seen the maximum number of Indian companies getting benefitted in terms of getting business, as the region is well suited for services of Indian companies.

The Governments of India and Nigeria are set to forge closer co-operation in a determined effort to accelerate growth ICT with a view to boosting both countries’ economies through greater penetration and use of advanced technologies and services.

The requirements in Africa offer huge opportunities for Indian companies, especially the SMEs to explore the region for growth and business. Since it is a developing market, the SMEs cannot only influence the market but also create or carve out a market according to their service offerings. Following are the opportunities that are present for SME sector:

o          Design and user interface development

o          Remote delivery of services (education and healthcare)

o          Linking mobile payment solutions to commerce

o          Content generation

o          Software development

o          Opportunity to improve regional integration and technology

It is worth noting that all the relevant stakeholders have already guaranteed their support for the event next year – the dates for 2018 are 29th and 30th August, 2018.

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