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Fwd: [BDPA-Africa] MDGs Not Possible Without Information Technology -- Anyim

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  • Edward Cherlin
    Exactly so. This is where OLPC in Nigeria comes in. What do you think? Does anybody here have connections within the Nigerian government? ... From: Wayne Hicks
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 25, 2007
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      Exactly so. This is where OLPC in Nigeria comes in. What do you think? Does anybody here have connections within the Nigerian government?

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Wayne Hicks <wayne.hicks@...>
      Date: Jul 25, 2007 11:16 AM
      Subject: [BDPA-Africa] MDGs Not Possible Without Information Technology -- Anyim
      To: bdpa-africa@yahoogroups.com, DigAfrica@yahoogroups.com

      MDGs Not Possible Without Information Technology -- Anyim

      Vanguard (Lagos)
      NEWS
      25 July 2007
      Posted to the web 25 July 2007

      By Okoh Aihe


      Former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, has said that the
      Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, will remain illusory if the
      Nigerian government does not use information technology tools as
      major drivers to achieve them.

      Speaking at the yearly gathering of the Nigeria Computer Society,
      NCS, Anyim said that IT has become so indispensable in every aspect
      of human life that it has virtually become impossible to make
      progress except with some passable knowledge in the sector.

      Governor of Imo State, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim vowed that his government
      would go out for a total embrace with e-governance and invited NCS to
      play a role in the process.

      The MDGs refer to the world development targets for this millennium
      which, according to Anyim, include the following: Eradicate extreme
      hunger and poverty, achieve Universal Primary Education, promote
      gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve
      maternal health, combat HIV AIDS, Malaria and other diseases, ensure
      environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for
      development.

      The window set for the achievement of the above bundle of needs is
      2015. While most countries have achieved this, and others are in the
      middle of doing so, the Nigerian situation is deteriorating in every
      angle thus, making the MDGs and IT the primary focus of this year's
      NCS conference.

      However, key elements responsible for sustainable growth in the
      Global Competitiveness Index include: Institution, Infrastructure,
      Macroeconomy, Health and Primary Education, Higher Education and
      Training, Market Efficiency, Technology Readiness, Business
      Sophistication and Innovation. These are the same factors that will
      help any country achieve its MDGs. In this case, IT has an
      overbearing influence making it much more compelling for countries to
      be more serious with the development, acquisition and adoption of
      information technology.

      Perhaps it was on this background that Prof Manny Anieborna,
      President of the Nigeria IT Practitioners in the Americas, NITPA,
      declared in his goodwill message: "It's time to elevate the game,
      time for talking is over, and we should take the game to the next
      level."

      Through personal efforts and cooperation with Zinox Computers, Manny
      has been able to affect the lives of students and academic
      communities in different parts of the country, but he said the
      response to achieving the MDGs must be much more comprehensive and
      should aggregate the efforts of all - government and professionals.

      But the President of the NCS, Dr. Chris Nwannenna, in a welcome and
      valedictory address hinted on factors that diminish the fortunes of
      the IT sector, factors which may make it impossible for the sector to
      play the expected role in the march towards the achievement of the
      MDGs.

      He regretted that while the Taskforce set up last year by government
      was putting finishing touches to a recommendation that would lead to
      the emergence of a Ministry of Information and Communications
      Technologies, MCIT, which would incorporate the NBC, NCC, NITDA and
      CPN, the government truncated the move with the naming of the
      Ministry of Information and Communications. In the restructuring, the
      NCC moved to the Ministry of Information, NITDA left in the Ministry
      of Science and Technology, while CPN remained with the Ministry of
      Education.

      The very bad aspect of that development, he lamented, is that the
      arrangement places IT and Communication agencies in three different
      ministries, thus still leaving room for duplication of functions,
      which we thought that whole exercise of harmonization was intended to
      curb.

      "Another point worth mentioning is that the Federal Ministry of
      Science and Technology has more than 20 agencies and parastatals
      under its supervision. To leave NITDA in this overstretched Ministry
      implies that we are not placing any premium on Information
      Technology, which the world has come to accept as a key enabler of
      the economy," Nwannenna said.

      He therefore asked government to revisit the harmonization
      issue. "The recommendation that a Ministry of Information and
      Communications Technologies, MCIT, comprising the agencies mentioned
      above, should be established has a lot of merit and needs to be
      implemented," he insisted.

      But while making a case for NITDA, nobody pointed out that the
      docility of that rudderless organization has impeded progress in the
      entire sector. NITDA was intended as a catalyst to open up the entire
      IT sector but results so far are quite shameful.

      Highpoint of the conference was the election of Prof Charles Uwadia
      of the University of Lagos as the new President of the Society. He
      will be in office for two years in the first instance.

      INEC chairman, Prof Maurice Iwu was honoured by the society for his
      bold decision to adopt the electronic voters' machine, a single
      decision that encouraged computer penetration in the country. Local
      manufacturers and other IT experts also benefited from the process.



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      --
      Edward Cherlin
      Earth Treasury: End Poverty at a Profit
      http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Earth_Treasury
      WIRE AFRICA  http//www.wireafrica.org/
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