Nigeria is world’s IT talent factory

“You can live in Nigeria but work for Western companies, the start-ups offering this are already there”

Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa has declared Nigeria as the most viable Information Technology (IT) investment destination in the world.

Addressing an international audience of tech giants, he said the country ticks all the boxes in terms of size, population, youth demography, government support, and legal and regulatory framework.

At the 2023 Digital Life Design (DLD) conference in Munich, Germany, Kashifu predicted that by 2030, there would be a global shortage of 85 million IT professionals, advising the world not to overlook Nigeria.

“The average age in Nigeria is 19; we have a demographic advantage. We will become the global IT talent factory”, the NITDA chief stressed.

“You can live in Nigeria but work for Western companies, the start-ups offering this are already there. India has been leading and we need to do something about that.”

Kashifu expressed concern that Africa is almost ignored because “some people think nothing happens there economically anyway”.

He gave an example of Mo Ibrahim who founded a mobile phone company in Sudan but was advised against it since the people were poor.

The IT expert recalled that after a few years, the British-Sudanese entrepreneur sold Celtel, now active in 13 countries, for 3.4 billion dollars.

“Nigeria has 15 per cent of the continent’s 1.4 billion population and a significant percentage of its GDP. Of the seven African unicorns (start-ups) worth more than a billion dollars, five are from Nigeria”, Kashifu said.

The DG added that the Nigerian government backs tech firms with funds while working on legislation to regulate the IT industry and safeguard investments.

Kashifu recently bagged the 2022 Foreign Investment Network (FIN)-Forbes Outstanding Corporate Governance CEO Award, African Information Technology Icon, ISACA Inspirational Leadership Award, and NADIR ICT Personality of the Year.

In 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari conferred the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Award on NITDA in recognition of its productivity, hard work and excellence in service delivery.


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