The National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) has expressed its willingness to collaborate with engineering professionals in Africa to infuse emerging technological tools, services and knowledge into engineering processes for enhanced productivity and customer satisfaction.
The Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa made this known when he played host to a team of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), led by its Registrar, Engr. Prof. Adisa A. Bello and a team from the Engineers Board of Kenya, led by its chairman, Engr Erastus K. Mwongera at the Corporate Headquarters of the Agency in Abuja.
The NITDA Director General stated that emerging technologies are reshaping the way engineers design and develop their equipment globally and it is a necessary step in the right direction that Africa adopts it for optimal productivity in its engineering processes.
According to Inuwa, there is a need for a convergence between information technology and engineering because it would reduce the cost of research and development as well as enhance innovations in real-time to achieve desired results.
“Today, we are talking about data and in mechanical engineering for example, there are no longer machines on the field, there are smart and connected machines that are able to generate data for predictive maintainers and predictive analytics,” he buttressed.
While expressing his excitement at the interest in collaboration shown by the visitors, he stated that it would give room to a plethora of opportunities where ideas and expertise can be collectively harnessed to drive Africa to an enviable position.
“I am glad that Africa is now looking inward to see how to put our energies together to develop African countries. Engineers are problem solvers and as long as the solutions are local, it will require local initiative as well,” he stated.
Reiterating that information technology is pervasive and believing that Africa has all it takes to be a global superpower in the fourth Industrial Revolution, Inuwa urged the two visiting engineering bodies to develop existential capabilities and flexibility to survive and thrive.
Reaffirming that technology has been disrupting processes including engineering processes globally, Inuwa disclosed that NITDA has developed various initiatives and strategies in fortifying the innovative ecosystem within and beyond the country.
He said, “At NITDA, we are promoting innovation-driven enterprises and the target is to take it to the global market. We have initiatives that bring the youths together, build ecosystems and build solutions to our problems.”
Eulogizing the impact of information technology on the status quo of existing traditional processes, the NITDA boss stated that information technology has been phenomenally inspirational by enabling creative ideas for enhanced business value propositions and creating new approaches to solving problems.
Inuwa accentuated the need to leverage digital technologies in boosting engineering processes and urged the visitors to fully exploit the three capabilities of Ubiquitous Data where information is collected, analyzed and commercialized.
He also urged them to look at Connectivity, where existential flexibility can be used in harnessing resources from the physical, digital and biological worlds, and lastly, Processing Power, where trending devices can be used in enhancing job processes.
“So, if you can use these three capabilities, nothing is impossible in this world and anything you want to do, you can achieve with it,” he assured.
In his earlier remark, Prof. Bello commended NITDA for their milestone achievements over the years and appreciated the Agency for their willingness in collaborating with COREN in deploying Information Technology into engineering processes for enhanced productivity.
In the same vein, Engr. Mwongera in his remark marveled at the extraordinary work being done at the Agency’s National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).
He expressed his delight at collaborating with NITDA while using its achievements as benchmarks for up-scaling engineering processes in Kenya and the continent as a whole.