Nigeria is Best Global IT Talent Factory – Kashifu Tells Tech Visionaries in Germany
TECHDIGEST – The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, has told an international audience of tech giants that Nigeria is the most viable Information Technology (IT) investment destination in the world.
Kashifu said Nigeria ticks all the boxes more than any country in terms of her size, population, youth demography, government support and institutional, legal as well as regulatory framework to ensure the success of any foreign investment in IT.
Speaking at this year’s edition of the annual Digital Life Design conference in Munich, Germany, Kashifu informed the audience that in the year 2030, there will be a global shortage of 85 million IT professionals, adding that in looking for a solution, the world should not look beyond Nigeria.
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Kashiful argued that Nigeria’s comparative and competitive advantage in IT over any other country is too massive to be ignored.
“The average age in Nigeria is 19. We have a demographic advantage. We can become the global IT talent factory.”
Kashifu envisioned Nigeria as a digital workbench for the world, saying: “You can live in Nigeria but work for Western countries. The first start-ups offering this are already there. So far, India has been leading and we need to do something about that.”
He expressed concern that the world has almost ignored Africa because “people think that nothing happens there economically anyway”.
He however gave an example with the experience of the British-Sudanese entrepreneur, Mo Ibrahim, who founded a mobile phone company in Sudan but was advised against it that it would not work since the people were too poor.
“But after a few years, Ibrahim sold his company Celtel, which was now active in 13 countries, for 3.4 billion dollars,” Kashifu said, adding that a lot is happening in Africa which the world is ignoring at its peril.
Talking about Africa, Kashifu said Nigeria, which is just one country out of 54, has 15 percent of the continent’s 1.4 billion population and a significant percentage of its GDP.
“Of the seven African unicorns – start-ups – worth more than a billion dollars – five are from Nigeria,” he said.
Kashifu also informed the audience that the Nigerian government is supporting the IT industry, for example, with money for start-ups. It is also working on a law to support the IT industry.
Kashifu, a multi award winning and thoroughbred IT professional, recently bagged 2022 ‘Foreign Investment Network (FIN)-Forbes Outstanding Corporate Governance CEO Award, African Information Technology Icon, ISACA Inspirational Leadership Award and NADIR ICT Personality of the Year.
Among several other awards on NITDA under Kashifu’s leadership, President Buhari also conferred the prestigious “National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Award” on the agency in recognition of productivity, hard work and excellence in service delivery.
Founded in 2005, the DDL was an intimate gathering of friends which has now developed into Europe’s leading innovation conference for visionaries from around the globe.
Co-chairs Steffi Czerny and Yossi Vardi have created an interdisciplinary and internationally connected platform for people eager to change the world in the digital era.
The Group’s annual conference takes place in Munich every January, shortly before the World Economic Forum in Davos. It is internationally renowned for attracting the best and the brightest in the global digital ecosystem.