Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) on Tuesday made history as he formally chaired the on-going World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
The Minister led global economies converging on the headquarters of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to declare the high level policy sessions open.
Addressing participants from over one hundred countries, Professor Pantami leveraged on this year’s theme titled: ICTs for well-being, Inclusion and Resilience; WSIS Cooperation for Accelerating Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to call for more support for technological development through multi stakeholder engagements, partnerships and collaborations between institutions and global economies, as it is the enabling tool for global economic prosperity and development. “There is a need for this forum to constitute a high level multistakeholder advisory council and a multistakeholder implementation committee to ensure that we continue to track and monitor outcomes and engagements post event.”
Speaking further, Professor Pantami noted that “Today, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is no longer a choice but a necessity as the world has come to realise particularly during the pandemic, as technology enabled us to continue with our activities and especially the business of governance virtually”. Using Nigeria as a case study, the Forum Chairman disclosed that “Nigeria exited the recession brought about by the pandemic a year earlier than predicted, ahead of several other countries in spite of global projections, largely due to the influence of technologies. Available statistics further provide proof that ICT played a principal role in achieving this feat”.
In the last quarter of 2020, the Nigerian ICT Sector grew by 14.70% and 12.90% for the whole year, and the sector continues to make quantum leaps as we take advantage of resources at our disposal to enable economic development. Nigeria’s youthful population with an average age of 18.3 years, coupled with the advantage of having the largest economy on the African continent, positions it strategically to explore digital technologies for optimal growth.”
The forum consists of eleven high level panel discussions with globally recognised sector experts, policy makers, heads of governments, corporations and civil society organisations.