Prof. Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has called for an high-level multi-stakeholders’ advisory council.
Pantami made the call when he formally chaired the on-going World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), at the ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday, according to a statement.
The statement was signed by Mrs Uwa Suleiman, Spokesperson to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that WSIS Forum 2022 started on March 15, in a virtual format with the final week being held physically with enhanced remote participation from May 30 to June 3.
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 100 countries, 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).
He called for more support for technological development through multi-stakeholders’ engagements, partnerships and collaborations among institutions and global economies.
He said this was the enabling tool for global economic prosperity and development.
He said, “There is a need for this forum to constitute a high level multi-stakeholders advisory council.
“And a multi-stakeholders’ implementation committee to ensure that we continue to track and monitor outcomes and engagements post event.
“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 minister disclosed that Nigeria exited the recession brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic a year earlier than predicted, ahead of several other countries in spite of global projections.
This, he said was largely due to the influence of technologies, adding that available statistics further provided proof that ICT played a principal role in achieving the feat.
According to Pantami, in the last quarter of 2020, the Nigerian ICT Sector grew by 14.70 per cent and 12.90 per cent for the whole year.
“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,” he said.
NAN also reports that the forum consists of 11 high-level panel discussions with globally recognised sector experts, policy makers, heads of governments, corporations and civil society organisations.
The forum represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ICT for development community. (NAN)