The organisers of the annual Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition have assured that all is set for the successful hosting of this year’s event billed for June 25-27, in Abuja.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos, the Chairman of Digital Africa Group, Dr. Evans Woherem, said this year’s conference theme: “Africa Tech Renaissance: Preparing Africa for the Age of Abundance,” would capture salient issues revolving around digital revolution and provide the way forward to enjoying the abundance of digital economy in Africa.
“With the Fourth Industrial Revolution making a speedy entry into the globe via exponential technologies such as Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data & Analytics, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality (AR), Blockchain technology, etc, the global economy is now at the mercy of these disruptive technologies.
“As technology is changing every part of human life – jobs, relationships, economies, industries and entire regions, it has been argued that Africa’s greatest resource is its people and they alone can determine the direction for Africa’s digital revolution.
“There is therefore, the need for an Africa with clean water, nutritious food, affordable housing, personalized education, top-tier medical care and non-polluting, ubiquitous energy. The time is now ripe to position Africa for Abundance through exponential change,” the statement partly read.
Speaking on the choice of theme for the event, Dr. Woherem said “An Age of Abundance? Yes, it is coming, in fact, almost here with us. It is being fuelled by the exponential technologies. With the right type of decisions and actions by citizens, we can ensure that each of the countries in Africa will benefit from this new age of abundance.
“Imagine a situation where just by wearing a T-Shirt in form of a technology tool, heartbeats are measured, uploaded to the Cloud via Bluetooth, and algorithms process them to accurately detect the irregular heartbeats.
“Imagine converting wastes from the coffee industry into bio fuels for heating buildings and powering transportation or disrupting the air surrounding a fire and quenching it eventually by the pressure waves of sound. These are some of the things going to be prevalent in the Age of Abundance driven by technology.”
Dr. Woherem warned that in getting ready for the Age of Abundance, Africa should avoid sitting idle and letting the train of the new industrial revolution pass her by.
He insisted that governments must take this challenge very seriously and do something with a great sense of urgency.
“However, regardless of what the government does or does not do, the challenge is on us all, especially the youth to ensure that this new train of development does not pass us by. I implore you all thus: arm yourselves with knowledge, start research and projects in AI and other exponential technologies, even if it is from your bedrooms or garages.
“We must not miss this opportunity. If you don’t, especially if your children do not, they won’t be economic active members of society. For the sake of your economic well-being at least, do something, embrace these new technologies,” Dr. Woherem advised.
According to him, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the key driving force behind the 4th Industrial Revolution, with the global economic returns of the revolution expected to be in the region of US$16 trillion. He added that along with these returns, AI is also expected to create 2.3 million new jobs by 2020, going by Gartner’s prediction.
He further noted that the three-day event will hold at the Baze University, Abuja adding that the event was established about seven years ago to act as advocates and active participants for bridging the technology gap between Africa and the rest of the world.
He added that leading technology firms and industry regulators including the Federal Ministry of Communications; the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); the Nigerian Communication Satellite (NigComSat); MTN Nigeria, Chams Plc, Chams Access, Interswitch, SystemSpecs, NIBSS, VDT Communications, Zenith Bank, NIMC and the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), among others have indicated interest to be part of the event.