The new Director for West Africa at Google, Mr. Olumide Balogun has met with the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa in a move to deepen collaboration between the two organisations.
During the meeting, Mr. Balogun, who led other Google executives to the Agency’s Corporate Headquarters, Abuja, disclosed that the familiarisation visit to NITDA has become imperative because it would restate Google West Africa’s commitment to deepening the partnership.
“I have been at Google for four years, recently now taking over the West Africa Director lead role. And our coming here today is to identify the critical steps that we need to take to jointly actualise the Nigerian President’s initiative to drive 1 million digital jobs because Google cannot thrive in isolation,” he said.
He revealed that Google have been working on Africa Internet for over eight years. According to him, “In 2015, during our premier developer event, we announced that Google has shifted from being a mobile-first company to an AI-first company. So, we were quite amused with all the chat GPT conversations.”
While disclosing that Google is currently working on a document that would detail the impact of Artificial Intelligence in Africa which will be launched in the University of Johannesburg, South Africa in September, the Director is inviting the NITDA’s Director General, Kashifu Inuwa, to deliver keynote address at the event.
In his remarks, the NITDA boss maintained that he believes they can create a million digital jobs if they work together to craft a strategy to achieve the target.
According to Inuwa, NITDA is positioning Nigeria for accelerated job creation in a digital economy. Saying, “We are looking at the Nigeria Startup Act, which identifies some initiatives such as talent development that can enable job creation. Nigeria can position itself to bridge the gap because we have a youthful population,” he said.
He noted that the government’s responsibility in the ecosystem is to intervene in terms of policies, regulations, and infrastructure where needed, the objectives of any regulation are to help create a market, democratize access to services, protect consumers, enhance service delivery, and enable innovation.