The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, emphasized the critical role of collaboration in achieving sustainable innovation during his speech at the Innovation Support Network (ISN) 2023 Annual Gathering held at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre in Abuja under the theme “Unlocking Potential: Collaborating for Growth and Impact.”
In his address, Director-General Inuwa Abdullahi highlighted the significance of the tech industry’s thriving culture of collaboration.
He noted that over 60% of global innovation today involves some form of cross-organizational collaboration, citing a 2020 report by Microsoft that revealed over 95% of Fortune 500 companies rely on Microsoft Cloud services, demonstrating the role of digital collaboration in driving business operations and innovation.
Represented at the event by Yakubu Musa, National Coordinator of the Office of the Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI), Director-General Inuwa Abdullahi underlined the central role of collaboration as the leading competitive edge in all spheres of socioeconomic activities.
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He emphasized that this year’s annual gathering aimed to encourage and strengthen collaboration to assist innovators in finding innovative and efficient solutions to various challenges across economic, social, and political/governance realms.
Director-General Inuwa Abdullahi acknowledged that technological advancements have allowed societies to establish interconnected networks of cooperation, enabling them to achieve more and improve their quality of life by accessing ecosystems, talents, and democratized knowledge.
He stated, “These statistics indicate that the world is becoming increasingly interconnected, interdependent, and collaborative. Therefore, collaboration is no longer an option but a necessity for progress and growth.”
In recognition of collaboration’s pivotal role in the digital transformation of the economy, NITDA, through various enabling policies, guidelines, and strategies, strives to foster a conducive environment for all stakeholders to collaboratively contribute to the growth and impact of the digital innovation ecosystem.
Director-General Inuwa Abdullahi noted that NITDA’s efforts include the establishment of two Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs): the Office for Nigerian Innovation (ONDI) and the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).
Through these SPVs, NITDA has facilitated collaborations with relevant stakeholders in implementing initiatives such as the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support (TIES) Scheme and the iHatch Startup Incubation Programme.
He expressed confidence in NITDA’s collaborative efforts to stimulate creativity and innovation, urging public and private sector stakeholders to join the annual gathering’s organizers and avail themselves of opportunities to support the establishment of a prosperous and sustainable digital innovation ecosystem.
During the event, the Finland Ambassador to Nigeria, Leena Pylvänäinena, stressed the importance of collaboration for success and reiterated the potential for partnerships between the Finnish Startup and Innovation Community and the Nigerian startup community.
Khalil Halilu, Executive Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), emphasized that ISN was a product of collaboration and highlighted the importance of working together to address pressing challenges, produce technological innovations, and create jobs and wealth.