The quest for more Nigerian students to acquire ICT skills came to the fore at the Huawei Education Summit when the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), ask for more ICT-Academia partnership in the country.
Delivery his keynote address at the Huawei Education Summit 2022, the Director General of NITD), Mr Kashifu Inuwa noted that it has become expedient to forge and strengthen linkages between the ICT industry and tertiary institutions due to the benefits.
He said that “We cannot go far as a nation if ICT adoption in our tertiary institutions is not systemic and coherent. The world is becoming digital and tertiary institutions are where our leaders of tomorrow come from. Hence, we must do everything possible to empower them.”
Inuwa who was represented by Director, Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions (ITIS), Dr Usman Abdullahi, said about 65% of Nigerians are aged 35 years or younger and they are mostly considered to be millennials, a highly-skilled tech-savvy generation, stressing that it is not therefore surprising that the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg during his visit to Nigeria in 2016, asserted that he was blown away with the talents he saw in the Country.
He said that developing digital skills for Africans and particularly Nigerian students is significant for the development and industrialisation of the continent, adding that Nigerian students are digital natives; what they need is an enabling environment.
“This can be seen in the successes recorded by Nigerian students in global competitions, especially the Huawei Global ICT Competition series. You may recall that at the fourth series, the Nigerian team won the first prize in the Regional Final in South Africa and the third place in the Global Final while at the fifth series, three Nigerian teams entered the Global Final and won the Grand Prize in the Practice Competition in both the Network Track and the Cloud Track”, he said.
“It is plain to see that acquiring digital skills and gaining new qualifications is the key to success in the modern age; whether you are a new entrant looking to climb the career ladder, the founder of a startup, or a senior executive in charge of a large team, failure to keep up with the times could prove disastrous. Regardless of where in the world you find yourself, regardless of the place you start, opportunity can be open for all in the digital economy”, Inuwa explained.
He added that the summit couldn’t have come at a better time, as it will avail participants the opportunity to discuss and share ideas on how best the Academia, Industry and Government can partner towards meeting the expectations of learners, industry, and society at large.
He commended Huawei Technologies for its commitment to promoting ICT development in Nigeria adding that Huawei’s effort at digital literacy and skills in the country helped the Agency achieve its mandates.
The Huawei Education Summit with the Theme: “New Approach in Meeting Rising Educational Expectation”, according to the organisers was convened in response to observed trends in the Nigerian Higher Education Sector-Increasing relevance of technology in higher education learning and teaching, Gender Equity and Inclusion in higher education, research and innovation in higher education campuses, teaching quality and relevance.