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AfIGF 2023: Africa better placed to lead 4th industrial revolution – Akpabio, gives reason

…Emphasises that there’s no better time for Nigeria to realise her full potentials than now using technology as enabler

By Chibuike Nwabuko

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – President of Nigeria’s 10th Senate, Godswill Akpabío has said that Africa may have missed out in the first, second and third industrial revolutions, but the fourth industrial revolution that is based on digital competence as well as knowledge society is for everyone to grab and that Africa is placed in a positive position to lead this digital revolution.

This is also as he has emphasized that there’s no better time for Nigeria to realise her full potentials than now using technology as enabler.

Akpabio who was represented by the Senate Committee Chairman on ICT, Senator Shuiab Salisu, stated this at the just concluded Africa Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF) 2023, while fielding questions with newsmen on the sideline of the programme.

Sundiata Post recalls that the theme of the 2023 AfIGF is: “Transforming Africa’s Digital Landscape: Empowering Inclusion, Security and Innovation”.

Butressing his reason why Africa is better placed to lead the forth industrial revolution, Akpabio said, whereas other countries outside Africa have aged population, Africa has youthful population. If you take Nigeria for example, almost 70% of the population are youths. What does this mean? It does means that our youths are agile, they can learn new technologies and put these technologies to use.

So our counsel to the youth is, when you go on the internet, when you have access to data, use internet responsibly and part of your responsible use of the internet is use it to access alot of information and knowledge available on the internet.

He expressed delights that every now and then, when you see Nigeria’s start-offs, particularly fintech, they are holding the flag in African continent. This he said, means that there are youths who are putting these technologies into good use.

He hinted that yesterday (Wednesday), Parliamentarians from different countries in Africa that attended Abuja 2023 AfIGF, as part of the Internet Governance Forum, had engagement with the youths where they let them know that technology has many potentials and that they must focus on the positive side and minimise the misuse of social media.

Akpabio therefore charged countries and governments to make social media, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and access to Internet more readily available for citizens.

According to him, technologies such as social media, artificial intelligence and access to internet come with a lot of potentials for individuals to develop, learn and to grow; countries and governments should make them more available to citizens despite that they have their downsides. He added that social media is an evolving technology and that others are still emerging and no doubt, it will come with it’s challenges.

The former Governor of Akwa Ibom State therefore, stated that there is no better time for our country to up our game and ensure that we realise our full potentials as a country than now using technology as enabler. Stressing that technology is not just an economic sector on it’s own, that it is also an enabler of other sectors.

Sundiata Post recalls that the 12th edition of the AfIGF hosted by Nigeria in Abuja that started on the 19th of September ended on 21st with 18 recommendations and three commitments.