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Nigeria, Ghana partner on ICT start-ups, local content, cybersecurity

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigeria’s IT clearinghouse  and its Ghanaian counterpart, the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) have agreed to partner on common grounds as it affects both countries Information Technology (IT) sector.

Mrs. Hadiza Umar, Head of Corporate Affairs at NITDA, in press statement made available to Daily Times  said the two agencies met in Accra, Ghana and have agreed to collaborate in the area of human capital development, ICT startups and entrepreneurship schemes, local content, cybersecurity and smart city.

The statement also stated that the partnership will  leverage on ICT to better improve the economic potentials of the two West African countries, adding the areas of cooperation will also cover mutual support for each country 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 the acting Director General /CEO of the NITDA, Dr Vincent Olatunji.

Olatunji said it considers a working relationship with 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 DG while elaborating on NITDA’s effort to strengthen the value of IT within Nigeria’s public and private organisations.

He disclosed that 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.

Also speaking on the partnership, the CEO of NITA, Mr. George Atta-Boatang said: “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.”

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.

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.

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.

Caption

R-L:Barr. Emmanual Edet, Head Legal Unit and Board Matters NITDA; Mr. George Atta Boatang DG NITA, Ghana; Vincent Olatunji  Ag. DG NITDA, Hajiya Hadiza Umar Head, Corporate Affairs NITDA .

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