ICT: We need African solutions for African problems – Expert

Mr Christian Idiodi, a Cross River born Partner of the Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG), says Africa needs African solutions to its challenges.

Idiodi disclosed this on Saturday when he led a team of Information and Communication Technology, (ICT) experts from the United States and Europe to Gov. Bassey Otu in Calabar.

SVPG is an ICT based company created to share senior level experience and best practices with technology companies and offering services to government as well as training.

He said they were interested in training Africans in skills like product management, product design and computer engineering that would help them create solutions with technology to solve problems in diverse areas.

Idiodi who is also the founder of Innovate Africa Foundation, said they needed to invest in young people to equip them with skills needed to work anywhere in the world and be global leaders.

“Most importantly, we need to change the mindset of Africans by training them to create African solutions for African problems because we don’t want our talents to leave for other countries.

“We want them to remain here and be able to create solutions that will provide jobs and boost opportunities in Africa,” he said.

Responding, Otu disclosed that God had blessed Cross River with intelligent people in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) but what the state lacked was proper ICT hubs.

He advised the ICT experts to take advantage of the pool of young and active population to establish ICT hubs, adding that the state was ready to partner with SVPG in establishing the hubs and training its citizens.

“As a technology-friendly government, we want to foster an environment that supports innovation in several ways, including research and development.

“This is by encouraging industry partnerships, and most importantly, creating policies and regulations that incentivise innovation.

“We have intelligent people in the area of ICT, what we lack are ICT hubs for our young and active people to take advantage of; so, we will love to partner with you in establishing these hubs for training of our people,” the governor noted.

Similarly, Mr Marty Cagan, Founder and Partner of SVPG said they were in Nigeria to plant seeds in Africa which would enable the continent develop solutions for its challenges using ICT.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the group had earlier had a four-day Inspire Africa Conference in Lagos with over 31 African countries in attendance.

It engaged youths from different secondary schools in Calabar.

They also embarked on some projects in Auntie Margaret Group of Schools in Calabar where the leader of the team underwent his elementary education. (NAN)