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Federal government targets millions of job through technology hubs

by Abbey Lily
Federal government targets millions of job through technology hubs

Federal government targets millions of job through technology hubs

. Africa home to 310 active innovation centres
. Experts seek establishment in each states
THE Federal Government is committed to creating millions of jobs through the establishment of technology hubs in the country.
     Speaking in a telephone interview,  the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, said government is exploring all available avenues to create millions of job including through the establishment of technology hubs in the country.
     Indeed, today, inclusion, efficiency, innovation are the main instruments spreading development gains from digital technologies, and the technology hubs and incubator entities, across a wide range, aim to maximise all three in different ways. This makes the establishments of technology hubs critical for any forward thinking economy.
     Shittu informed that while government is building lots of private centres where there will be free WiFi connections, a number of technological hubs will also be coming up this year, “we are already working on the modalities to get things done appropriately in that regards. There will be phenomenal growth in the ICT sector, in another six months, we should see the results.”
    The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, had informed of plans by the Federal Government to establish innovation hubs across the country, with two ‘super’ hubs in Lagos and Abuja and six regional technology hubs in the six geo-political zones.
   “Technology is certainly the key in turning the economy around, we need to invest significantly and improve our funding in technology and technology related industry,” Osinbajo affirmed.
   The establishment of the hubs, according to investigations would be in partnership with several major technology companies the technology hubs will be fully resourced with infrastructure and capacity building tools.
   Furthermore, each hub will be designed to produce relevant innovative technology solutions to a wide range of business, commercial and government problems.
    Already, checks showed  that there are 310 active technology hubs across Africa, with Nigeria having 23 after South Africa and Kenya, with 51 and 26 hubs respectively.The springing up of technology hubs in the region has been hinged on the growth of mobile, which has emerged as the platform of choice for creating, distributing and consuming innovative digital solutions and services.
    Some of the already existing hubs in the country include Co-Creation Hub; iDEA; Technology Incubation Centre; Delta State Innovation Hub; Focus Hub; Engine Incubator; Calabar Technology Incubation, among others.
    The Global System for Mobile telecommunications Association (GSMA) noted that the technology hubs springing up across Africa represented a key source of locally developed applications, stressing that while there are approximately 310 active tech hubs across the region, there are 180 accelerators/incubators.
    The body, which listed top three countries in terms of tech hubs in the region to include South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, said in March 2016, application accelerator company, Neumob, launched points of presence in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, to enable local app developers to improve the performance, security and user experience of their applications.
    GSMA informed that the tech start-up investment ecosystem in Africa is increasingly active, with the range of tech start-ups funded and size of deals reflecting the accelerating development of the ecosystem.
    According to it, in 2015, 125 African tech start-ups raised approximately $185 million, with Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa receiving more than 80 per cent of the funding. However, it pointed out that this amount pales in comparison to the $27.3 billion raised by start-ups globally in the same year, underlining the need for more investment to fund start-ups in the region as well as diversification of target markets to enable broader development of the start-up ecosystem.
    Speaking on the development around the hubs in Nigeria, the Director General, Delta State Innovation Hub (DSIHUB), Chris Uwaje, said work was already on-going on the plan, but that the delay to transfer the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and others from Ministry of Communication to Science and Technology may delay implementation.
    According to him, the Federal Government target of creating millions of job may not be realized if the establishments are restricted to just one per region.
   Uwaje, a former President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), said each state must be mandated and encouraged to establish at least two IHUBs.
   Commenting on established hubs not churning out innovations that meet the specific needs of Nigerians, Uwaje said: “This is true and pathetic. Two factors are responsible – namely: Our Ihubs are currently detached from the education ecosystem plus lack of standard framework to brand the Intellectual Property of the initiative and secondly, government’s ignorance on the fact that the nature of work has changed worldwide including lack of a strategic funding model.”
   Uwaje advised government to ensure model for the establishment is that of Public Private Partnership (PPP) with integrated Venture Capital investment funding model.
   According to him, Federal Government and all the states must establish “Innovation Fund legislation to build and accelerate the critical momentum”, saying that though it is critical, but it is currently missing.
   The DG OF DSIHUB reminded government that the new and only oxygen and blood for sustainable national development is software, stressing, “all other thing in today’s and future life will depend on it. Therefore, National Software Development and Applications Legislation as critical strategy is still missing and 10 years behind its imperatives!”
    Commenting on DSIHUB, Uwaje said the hub is 12 months old and has achieved a lot with its 36 Hours non-stop Coding Hackathon Record and Startup Incubator model, saying that the current innovation awareness level in the state is as awesome as both government and citizens’ levels.    
   He informed that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is deeply committed to the DSIHUB initiative and fully understands its benefits to the State. “In particular, the Governor is desirous to ensure that the Delta State Contributory Health Scheme (DSCHC) is ICT driven. And has ensured that required Software Solutions be developed and delivered by DSIHUB. Indeed, digital Governor Senator Okowa is in the forefront of change and has already commissioned the Delta State Smart City Project. With the adequate funding mechanism, there are visible assurances that DSIHUB will add immense value to the sustainable development of the state.”
Federal government targets millions of job through technology hubs
Federal government targets millions of job through technology hubs

Federal government targets millions of job through technology hubs

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