Swedish Programs for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER) and iHub Kenya in collaboration with Afrilab and Management Science for Health (MSH) have officially held ICT4 Social Innovation (ICT4SI) Western African Network Conference in Abuja, the Capital city of Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world.
The two-day Conference which ended yesterday had successfully brought together Public institutions, Businesses, Academia, Tech-communities, Media Organisations, Civil Society Organisations and other major stakeholders within ICT sector in Nigeria and across the African continent to deliberate, explore and encourage greater collaborations toward the implementation and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in Africa using Information Communication Technology as key driving tool.
According the Benjamin Akinmoyeje, the ICT4SI West African Forum Lead, “ICT4SI is a Pan-African Network focusing on ICT as a tool for development, by Africans for Africa and beyond, founded by SPIDER and iHub as a need was identified to explore the greater opportunities for speedy development using ICT.”
He added that currently Nigeria is leading the Western African Network of ICT4SI. And based on this, the Network had had two workshops in collaboration with other local ICT network such as Afrilabs and MSH idealabs in Abuja.
“ICT4SI Western Network is open to other interested organisations to join so as to jointly collaborate in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria and across the West African regions” he stated.
Edna Soomre, Head of Digital Health Programme for SPIDER, said one of the key areas that SPIDER is currently working through ICT4SI is to ensure sustainable
partnership with the local Health Organisations in West Africa which can only be achieved through collecting key information about health data.
“Partnering with local health organisations is about looking how to first respond to the needs of the locals by teaming up the academics and researchers who are experts in district heath or public health initiatives by integrating into the national agendas for e-health, using e-health to have the wholisitic view of the health system in all the African countries within the ICT4SI Network for examples Nigeria, Zambia, Ethiopia and Tanzania among others”.
Lina Idris, an ICT4SI Network member from Sudan, who participated actively at the conference, said she has eagerly anticipated to be part of such a great platform and looked forward have ICT4SI North African Network established in Sudan.
“I hopefully look forward to have the next ICT4SI Conference to hold in Sudan which I believe would have tremendous impacts within the North African regions” said Lina.