The TechDev Summit 2016 was an epic gathering of all principal stakeholders to brainstorm and seek solutions that would benefit the south eastern Nigeria. The summit with the theme: ICT: Innovate, Transform, Connect held on the December 6th at the de Dome hotel New Haven Enugu. This was organized by Communication Week Media Limited, publishers of Nigeria CommunicationsWeek and Techsmart Trend (founded by Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. “CFA”).
Engr. (Dr.) Ernest Ndukwe, former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) chaired the summit which began at about 11am and ended by 5.30pm same day. Experts, academia, intellectuals and major stakeholders in the ICT were gathered to address issues, generate new ideas and approaches as well as chart a road map for Nigeria’s ICT space. The participants turnout in the one day event was very poor depicting the disposition of south-eastern populace in general.
Most of the expected speakers were absent such as Barr. Adebayo Shittu, Honourable Minister of Communications; Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC); Dr. Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); Chief Leo-Stan Ekeh, Chairman, Zinox Group; Mr. Yusuf Kazaure, Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Limited; Mr. Yele Okeremi, CEO, Precise Financial Systems; Mr. Chinenye Mba Uzoukwu, Managing Director, Infographics; Mr. Kola Aina, Founder, Ventures Platform; Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, Founder, Emerge Tech; Mr. Charles Emembolu, CEO, Crestsage; Ms. Chioma Agwuegbo, Founder, TechHerNG and many others including the academia and startups that were lined up to make the summit largely impactful.
Engr. Kennedy C. Okafor (IEEE Nigeria section Treasurer), represented IEEE alongside with some selected academia including Prof. Osita Ogbu, CEO, African Development Solutions International (ADSI); Dr Deborah Eben, Lecturer, UNN; and Dr. Ifeyinwa Angela Ajah, Department of Computer Science, Ebonyi State University. We participated in a panel discussion on the Role of the Academic in pushing the National digital Agenda. This session sought to deepen the conversations and offer practical insights for our National tech development.
Engr. Kennedy C. Okafor used this platform to highlight the role of IEEE in relation to technology advancement and the Triple helix model for sustainable development in the ICT domain. Other issues explored include the role of cloud computing and innovation on economic growth and development.
- The conveners made efforts to bring together the key stake holders but had serious technical planning issues resulting in re-scheduling the event to a one-day program.
- Most of the expected speakers and some selected organization were absent.
- Poor participation from the south-Eastern Nigeria.
- The conveners complained of lack of funding which led to making the event a one day affair.
- IEEE membership registration was hugely affected by the sudden change of the event to one day as against 2days event.
- However, IEEE flyers for NIGERCON 2017 were shared while using mail contact list to publicize the IEEE PES conference coming up in Ghana in 2017.
- There is need to ascertain the level of preparedness of non-technical organizations so as to know how IEEE as a professional technical organization can assist and maximize benefits.
- There should be proper communication between IEEE and any organization/institution that wishes to partner with IEEE possibly using IEEE conference platform or any other acceptable/formal channels.
Kennedy C. Okafor
Treasurer/IEEE Nigeria Section