Closing Ceremony Of The 14th Innovation Africa Digital (IAD) Summit 2016

Remarks By Amina Oyagbola, Human Resources And Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria At Closing Ceremony Of The 14th Innovation Africa Digital (IAD) Summit, Abuja On Thursday April 21, 2016.

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Honoured Partners and Collaborators

Members of the Press

Ladies and gentlemen

Good Afternoon,

I am honoured to be entrusted with the task of delivering the closing remarks for an event of this magnitude. I am sure you will agree with me when I say that the last three days have been very productive.

We have listened to a lot of brilliant ideas that focused on the opportunities through which African countries can build strong, vibrant, digital economies.

We also realise that a lot of work needs to be done to create the right operating environment that will stimulate the massive investment in time, money and ideas which is required to ensure that we all deliver on these opportunities!

Please permit me to review some of the main points shared during our deliberations:

Access – There is a critical need to collectively work to improve access to digital technologies. To jumpstart this process, we must speed up the deployment of relevant infrastructure across every nook and cranny of the continent including underserved and rural communities.  Connectivity is key!

Utilization – Governments and the private sector must wholeheartedly embrace and encourage the use of digital technologies across every facet of their operations. This includes building capacity to fuel the creation of relevant content; providing incentives to drive adoption and nurturing interest in ICT across the different levels of education.

Enabling environments – We must also pursue the implementation of the right policies with a relevant framework, geared towards driving more investment and subsequently increasing access and adoption of all things digital. Governments are encouraged to continue enacting and implementing suitable policies in the digital and communication sector. It is instructive to note that the Nigerian legislature (as represented by the Chairman House Committee on ICT, Hon. Mohammed Onawo) has promised to support by formulating enabling laws that will support the ICT sector. The Ministry of Communications, the Industry bodies and interested parties should continue providing guidance to the National Assembly in this regard.

In conclusion, I would like to commend everyone for your participation in the fruitful deliberations that have occurred here over the last three days. I especially thank all the keynote speakers and experts who participated on the panels. We are all truly grateful for your willingness to increase your network, share your experiences and lessons learned.

We greatly appreciate the support this summit has received from the members of the media. It is very important that the views expressed here are disseminated to a wider audience and readership.

The one overriding message that I hope we will share with our colleagues, friends and family members is this – More than ever before, this is the time for Africa to grow and leverage technology for increased capacity and productivity, in view of the economic challenges facing the continent.

The task of achieving this goal, rests with you and I seated here today. Indeed, we are the ones who will implement Africa’s digital agenda.

So let’s go and get started! There is little time to waste!

I wish you all a safe trip back to your respective destinations.

Thank you



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