A panel of experts on sustainability and professionals in the technology sector gathered on a webinar hosted by The Telecommunication and Technology Sustainability Working Group (TTSWG) – a coalition of stakeholders and players within the sector seeking to promote and ingrain sustainable practices in the tech and telecoms space – to discuss the importance of incorporating Information and Communications Technology (ICT) into governance in Nigeria.
The webinar, which was another effort by TTSWG to incorporate sustainable practices in the sector and influence sustainability in the areas of environment, society, and governance had in attendance reputed thought leaders including Dr. Wunmi Hassan, President/CEO of High-Tech Centre for Nigerian Women and Youth; Deji Haastrup, Director of Good Governance Africa (GGA), SADC Board, South Africa; and Oluwole Asalu, Founder & CEO of Quomodo Systems Africa.
Dr. Chris Uwaje, a Co-Founder and Past President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, and Board Member of TTSWG, while giving the welcome address, pointed out that “Nigeria is currently in a state of data chaos,” and called for the proper management and use of data with the help of technology to provide solutions to several issues faced in governance. “Why are the people in governance using less technology than the people being governed?” he questioned.
Highlighting the significance of technology in deepening democracy, Dr. Wunmi Hassan pointed out that “The effective management of crises depends on the harmonisation of technological solutions with supportive policies. To move forward and develop as a society, it is crucial to prioritise ICT and ensure that our policies are effective.” In agreement with Hassan, Deji Haastrup stressed the need for a fallback system in case of any potential failures. He stated that “As much as we put faith in the benefits of ICT, we must all understand that ICT, like any other tool, can fail.”
The panellists delved deeper into the significance of integrating ICT into different areas of governance. Oluwole advised that “the use of technology in promoting democracy should encompass all spheres of governance, rather than being limited to elections alone.” To support this viewpoint, Deji Haastrup emphasised that “while elections are a vital component of democracy, efforts to improve democracy should not be limited to the conduct of elections.”
In conclusion, the panellists agreed that the integration of ICT into various aspects of governance is crucial for sustainable development in Nigeria. The event was a call to action for stakeholders to work together toward achieving digital transformation in the country.
TTSWG, a collaborative initiative among leading telecommunications and technology stakeholders, has been established to drive coordinated efforts toward sustainable practices in the sector. Through strategic partnerships, policy advocacy, and events, the group aims to tackle various national issues and leverage the resources available to stakeholders to benefit the industry and the country at large. With a focus on mobilising human and material capital, TTSWG seeks to encourage joint action and innovative solutions that can drive progress in the sector and contribute to a sustainable future.