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Imo Unveils Digital Economy Agenda

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has unveiled Imo Digital Economy Agenda (IDEA) 2022 – 2026 that is anchored on six strategic pillars aimed at highlighting his plan to ensure the digitalisation of the state.

The IDEA entails having the entire communities in Imo State in the net to benefit from the digital economy.

At its unveiling in Owerri yesterday, the Commissioner for Digital Economy and e-Government, Dr. Chimezie Amadi, who stood in for the governor said the five year medium term plan was envisioned by Uzodimma through the Ministry of Digital Economy and e-Government which he heads.

A statement quoted him to have said the policy document was formulated to harness ICT potential, provide new solutions to developmental challenges and foster economic growth, competitiveness, enhance access to information and knowledge, poverty eradication and social inclusion.

The event attracted members of the Imo Tech and Business Community.

Amadi told the audience that the implementation of IDEA 2022 – 2026 would help them maximise the benefits of digital economy by laying the foundation for digitalisation of State Government institutions for enhanced productivity and quality service delivery.

He added: “It will foster strategic partnership with the tech ecosystem, facilitate broadband penetration across towns and villages to enable fast pace-based social economic growth in the state.”

The Commissioner said Imo was the first state to establish a Ministry of Digital-Economy and e-Government with the sole objective of supporting the federal government’s policy trust of diversifying the economy through the deployment of digital technology.

The Imo IDEA 2022-2026, he added was anchored on six strategic pillars – Digital literacy and Skill, Solid Infrastructure, Service Infrastructure, Advocacy, Monitoring and Evaluation, Collaboration and Partnership.

The Commissioner said the vision of the programme was to position Imo as a leading digital economy state in Nigeria with the mission to build smart cities that leverage digital technologies to drive governance, innovation and entrepreneurship while promoting value creation and prosperity for all.

He told the audience that their mandate as a Technology Opportunity People (TOP) was to develop and adopt digital technology for creating people-focused opportunities and economic prosperity.

Furthermore, the Commissioner noted that the Imo Digital Economy Agenda as proposed would also identify eight work streams indication timelines, responsibilities and expected outcomes from the six strategic pillars which constitute the key issues that must be addressed for the government to achieve a thriving digital economy in the state.

He said the expected outcome from the full implementation of the Imo Digital Economy Agenda (IDEA) 2022-2026 was to position Imo as the Digital Skills Hub in Africa.

Amadi explained: “This will position Imo as Africa’s highest supplier of market-entry and high level digital skills with sustained digital literacy and skills programmes.

“The Imo IDEA will create jobs of the future where Imo will become a leader in digital entrepreneurship development in Nigeria. Again, it will enable Imo meet the growing global demand for technological skills. Re-skilled and up-skilled youths with fourth industrial revolution skill where Imo State will be the next exporter of industry ready workforce that will drive the global digital economy.

“In addition, the IDEA will create opportunities for Imo Digital Status to solve local and global challenges as the programme will create enabling environment that will spur ground breaking innovative solutions for local and global challenges leveraging emerging technologies as well as enhance creative thinking and complex problems solving skills.

“Other expected outcomes will include but not limited to providing an enabling environment for public sector, private sector, civil societies and development partners participation in training five million Nigerians including Imo people in technology skills which will snowball into the creation of a Digital Skills Database to identify a digitally literate Nigerians and their levels of competence.”

The Commissioner added: “The Imo IDEA which has the entry skilled programme and the advanced level programme is designed to accommodate everybody irrespective of the level of literacy which is the youths, the old and young and even the children whether ICT compliant or not as it will allow and give room to learn from the grassroot to the top through a simple process of interaction.

“The programme also targets the 27 LGAs of Imo State aimed at capturing those in the rural areas, villages and communities because the greater number of the population are domiciled in those areas.

“It will also provide and organise programmes for the kids in what is called ‘catch them young’ using learning tools that will make them feel interested. The sole objective of this is meeting their needs so that by the end of the digital programme they will be useful to themselves, the economy of the State and the world at large.”

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