Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani has shared the Federal Ministry’s ambitious goal to train 3 million tech talents over the next four years as stated in the ministry’s recently released policy document.
Dr. Tijani spoke at Day 1 of TechCabal’s inaugural flagship Moonshot Conference, on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 – where during a fireside chat with the CEO of Big Cabal Media, Tomiwa Alakademo, he disclosed that the Ministry has designed a “1-10-100-model” to achieve its desired goal of training 3 million tech talents in four years. The two-day event, with over 5,000 people expected in attendance, is aimed at bringing together the most audacious players in the African tech scene – including founders, business leaders, startups, and enterprise companies to network, collaborate, share ideas/insights, and celebrate innovation across the continent.
“We are starting with 1% of our 3 million target and that will be for the first three months. And that 1% is going to be 30,000 people. From the 1%, which is the prototype, we move to the 10% which is the pilot stage. Once we can get that right, it is easier to scale to a larger number. If Nigeria can train 300,000 technical talents today, we can become the most competitive country on the continent when it comes to training technical talent,” said Dr. Tijani.
He went on to add that the selection process for the first phase of training will cut across all 36 states of the Federation, as the Ministry aims to create a pipeline of talent for the country’s thriving tech ecosystem. The Minister’s plans are tied to driving the overall growth of Nigeria’s digital economy, which according to the World Bank, would “have a transformational impact” on the country. Nigeria’s digital economy space has recorded over $4.4 billion in investments in the last four years.
Speaking at a panel discussion on “Building the rails for the growth of the digital economy in the next decade”, Juliet Ehimuan, former Director of Google West Africa, added that beyond the ministry’s ambitious goal, the Federal government also needs to work towards building the capacity of young people to join the tech workforce and close the talent gap. According to Oswald Guobadia, former Senior Special Assistant on Digital Transformation in Nigeria’s last administration, building the rails for the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy in the next decade will require collaboration between stakeholders. Guobadia stated this during the same panel session at the event, noting that the Nigeria Startup Act bridges the gap between policymakers and practitioners in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem.
According to its policy paper, the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy has a goal to position Nigeria in the top 25% percentile in research globally across six pivotal Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technological domains, including artificial Intelligence (AI), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, blockchain, and additive manufacturing. To achieve this, the minister disclosed that the same model will be adopted to “elevate Nigeria to become a leader in AI inclusion”.
Hosted by Fatu Ogwuche and Olumuyiwa Olowogboyega, Day 2 of TechCabal’s Moonshot is packed with keynotes from Anuoluwapo Adedoyin Adasolum, CEO, Sabi; Josh Chibueze, Co-Founder/CMO, Piggytech and Olugbenga Agboola, CEO, Flutterwave. There will also be panel sessions to discuss digital commerce in Africa, financing African women in business, building global fintech products, and the future of gaming and financial services. Masterclasses, fireside chats, and workshops with notable tech professionals and featuring influential creators like Fisayo Fosudo, Jola Ayeye, and Korty EO are also lined up for the conference which ends today.