Takeaways from #MoDiTech2019: Nigeria Needs to Leverage its Technology to Transform the Economy


The maiden edition of the Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum 2019 (#MoDiTECH2019) held yesterday.

Organised by media platforms, Techeconomy and Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, the event had a clear objective of exploring how game-changing technologies can impact the country’s economy. It brought together key players, stakeholders and enthusiasts in the tech and mobile space.

L-R: Mr. Chris Uwaje, Engr. Bako Wakili (representing Executive VC of NCC), Dr. Ayotunde Coker, Mr. Austin Okere, and Dr. Bayero Agabi at MoDiTech2019.

Themed “The power of Digital Services”, the event was graced by industry heavyweights. Notable guests include Mr. Austin Okere, Founder, CWG Plc and Entrepreneur in Residence, Ausso Leadership Academy; Chris Uwaje, Chairman, Connect Technologies and Africa Chair for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); Dr Babatunde Obrimh, COO, Fintech Association of Nigeria (FinTechNgr); and Dr. Ayotunde Coker, MD, Rank Centre.

Digital Services Can Change Our Economy

According to the GDP Report for Q1 of 2019 by the National Bureau of Statistics, the Oil sector contributed 9.14% to the GDP. And in the same period, the Telecoms space alone contributed 10.11% to the GDP.

This shows that digital services can help to boost the economy of Nigeria and its high time this is recognised.

Remarkably, the conference comes a day after the Ministry of Communications was renamed the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

However, if there is no suitable playground for service providers to thrive, superficial changes mean nothing. As such, government will have to ensure that the right policies are in place to usher in the needed digital services and aid innovation.

We Have the Necessary Tools, We Need to Make Use of Them

If anything was agreed on by all the panelists and speakers yesterday, it is this: Nigeria has the youthful population and, increasingly, the innovation to take it into the 4th industrial revolution.

The country has all it takes to improve its digital economy – the geophysical location, the population and increasing technologies/investment streams. As such, we need to re-imagine the way this is being utilised.

It was pointed out that the world is now in the 4th industrial revolution with blockchain, big data, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented reality, Inter of Things and other emerging technologies. As Africa comes into focus, Nigeria needs to move fast or miss out.

Disrupt or Be Disrupted!

One thing has been constant over the centuries is disruption. Businesses are being disrupted, statutes are being changed. It’s a symptom of the 4th industrial revolution and as such businesses must be ready to innovate or face disruption.

Recall that a few years ago, Nokia was a leading mobile phone provider, now it’s playing catch up with industry leaders like Samsung and Apple.

In Conclusion

The 2019 Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum 2019 did well to discuss urgent issues in the Nigerian digital space. Hopefully with the array of industry policy makers present, it doesn’t end at just shop talking. Kudos to the organisers for putting together such an event.

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