The 4th in the series – the Indo Africa ICT Expo 2018 was organized in Lagos, Nigeria on 22nd & 23rd May 2018. This was the second time that the event was held on Lagos, and the previous two successful events before that were organized in Nairobi, Kenya.
Africa is among the faster growing markets worldwide! Improving macroeconomic indicators, conducive business environment, larger, younger & more affluent population, rising middle class - all of these should be seen as strong indicators of not only a source of capital but of job creation, skills development, technology transfer, infrastructure development, responsible governance and most of all – of sustained growth with long-term diversification and transformation of African economies!
A very noticeable aspect of the Indo Africa ICT Expo was that the event got tremendous local support from the Nigerian Government and influencer associations like ITAN (IT association), NACCIMA (Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture) and IPF (Indian Professionals Forum). It was probably the first time that these bodies came together on a business platform.
Pre event press conference: 14th May 2018
A press conference, a week ahead of the event was organised and presided by the Indian High Commissioner B.N. Reddy & the Nigerian ICT Minister Dr. Abdur-Rahman A Shittu informing about this event. The message at the press conference was that – The event was a business platform to reiterate the relationship and commitment between India and the African countries, and that there is still a lot to be explored between the two countries.
The moto of the event was: from millions to billions
Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa and India is its largest trading partner. The bilateral trade during the year 2015-16 registered US$12.17 billion as against US$16.36 billion recorded during the year 2014-15 due to sharp decline in oil prices. After a steady increase of India’s exports to Nigeria for the past few years, the period April 2015 to March 2016 recorded US$2.22 billion.
Key Conference Theme: Digital Transformation in Africa and India
Digital transformation may be thought as the third stage of embracing digital technologies: digital competence → digital literacy → digital transformation! As Digital transformation re-invents our lives and changes all aspects of human society as we know it, it is now the time to embrace technology which connects all and is simplified but yet improved.
Event statistics and summary in numbers
- Exhibitors: 60 (15 IT companies/delegates and 35 from Telecom/ 10 local companies/associations booths)
- 8 sessions with 38 speakers
- Media presence: 30+
- VIP presence: 25+
- The Expo had 1400+ visitors
- The conference had 200 delegates
- The exhibition saw participation from Ghana; Ethiopia; Rwanda; Apart for Nigeria and India
Key facts and takeaways:-
- The event was truly large affair with huge local participation (1400+ visitors) and 200 conference delegates
- Presence of Nigerian ICT Minister Dr. Abdur-Rahman A Shittu and his endorsement of the event
- Although the Indian Minister did not travel, there was recorded message by H.E. Mr. Manoj Sinha, Hon'ble Minister for Communications, Government of India for the initiative.
- B. N. Reddy, High Commissioner of India, Nigeria also travelled from Abuja and dedicated two full days to this event.
- Participation from the representative from the African Development Bank, Tony Elumelu Foundation and many local banks - these are agencies/organizations that are making an impact in the region.
- The Deloitte presentation at the beginning of the conference presented with the overall perspective of the opportunity areas of synergy for Indian and local companies.
- Showcasing the new products & technology of Indian Companies
Participation of regional banks like FirstBank, Access Bank, Stanbic Bank
The most matured enterprise ICT services, mentioned below for quick reference:
Digitization & Data Processing
Application Development & Maintenance
Contact Centers, F&A
Mobile apps, Billing & analytics
Contact Centers, Data Processing, Back Office
Opportunity in the skilling and education sector – The Nigerian Communications Ministry, along with the private sector is establishing ICT University with 6 campuses in different regions in Nigeria. The ICT University is expected to be the leading tertiary institute for R&D i.e. Student centric and solution driven in all aspects of economy, especially new economy.
Opportunity in the Cyber security – This is a big concern area in Nigeria and Africa in general but also is an opportunity area for Indian companies
Status on MoUs and JVs - There were a couple of discussions on for signing of MoUs and business tie ups. We are keeping a track of these developments and update all in due course of time. This event, this region has seen some of the most successful business deals in the recent past and we do hope that, it would be the same even this time round.