Digital Africa Conference Attracts More Endorsements, Prepares Africa For The Age Of Abundance
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Preparations are on top gear for the successful hosting of this year’s Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition billed for June 25-27, at the Baze University, Abuja Federal Capital Territory, with leading technology firms and players already indicating interest to be part of this annual technology show.
This year’s Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition has as its theme: “Africa Tech Renaissance: Preparing Africa for the Age of Abundance,” and promises to capture the salient issues and the way forward to enjoying the Age of Abundance 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.
Speaking on the choice of the theme for this year’s event, Chairman of Digital Africa Group, Dr. Evans 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 biofuels 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, insisting 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,” Woherem warned.
Picking out one of the exponential technologies, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Dr. Woherem said it 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, adding that along with these returns, AI is also expected to create 2.3 million new jobs by 2020, going by Gartner’s prediction.
He said that Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition was established some seven years ago to act as advocates and active participants for the bridging of the gap between Africa and the rest of the world in ICT.
So far, this year’s edition of Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition has attracted the endorsement of big industry regulators and players including the Federal Ministry of Communications; the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); and the Nigerian Communication Satellite (NigComSat).
Others include MTN Nigeria, Chams Plc, Chams Access, Interswitch, SystemSpecs, NIBSS, VDT Communications, Zenith Bank, NIMC and the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC).