The 39th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) technology week held at the World Trade Centre, Dubai from 6th to 10th October 2019. This was Nigeria’s seventh participation at GITEX. Nigeria’s annual participation at GITEX is aimed at promoting investments in the technology sector through the African Investment Forum and showcasing Nigerian Startups and Organizations.
NiRA was one of the Nigerian organisations at the 2019 GITEX. It is worthy of note that the various Nigerian organizations and startups showcased/hosted their products on websites and emails with their registered .ng domain names. The NiRA team was able to promote and guide participants on how to register their .ng domain names and also explained the benefits of registering .ng domain names at the conference.
The Nigerian delegation to GITEX 2019 was led by Dr. Isa Ali Patami, Honorable Minister, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Senate Committee Chairman Senator Oseni Yakubu, Senate Deputy Vice Chairman Senator Buhari Adbulfatai Omotayo, Honorable Abubakar Lado Abdullahi, Director General/CEO of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission Prof. Umar Danbatta, Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Mr. Yusuf Kazaure, and other CEOs in the ICT Industry.
Nigeria also organized the Africa Investment Forum held on Wednesday 9th October 2019. The forum attracted ICT stakeholders and investors from across the world. In his opening remarks, Mr. Inuwa stated that looking large number of young people in the country, Nigeria is heaven for ICT innovation and the largest ICT market in Africa.
The Hon Minister, Dr. Pantami said that Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa. Stating that the GDP of Nigeria is over $300,000 million which is the largest in Africa, he encouraged foreign investors to tap into the largest market in Africa. He also said that the ease of doing business in Nigeria is like no other. Currently, it takes between 24 – 48 hours for foreign companies to register their businesses through the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). 95% of the registration can be done online. There are also incentives that the Federal Government gives foreign investors who come to invest in Nigeria. He encouraged foreign investors at the session to quickly utilize the golden opportunity which was being placed before them.
The Africa Investment Forum focused on technology investments and how the continent could leverage on increasing value to GDP of ICT in most developing economies. Speakers across different verticals discussed ICT diffusion across different sectors that include education, cybersecurity, startups, retail, energy, healthcare, and finance.
The hallmark of the program came when one of the Nigerian startups sponsored by NITDA won the Best AI Startup Category. Chiniki Guard is an artificial intelligence (AI) security solution for retail stores and supermarkets designed to monitor, detect and alert the owners and staff about shoplifting and suspicious behavior in real-time. Chiniki Guard was one of six Nigerian startups who participated at the GITEX 2019 Supernova challenge. Other startups include 247Medic a subscription-based and pay as you go online medical care, consultation and advisory service, Bluecircle a disease registry software that leverages mobile technology to empower healthcare provides at every level of health delivery, to collect and analyze patient’s data while assisting patients keep their therapeutic goals, Sublime squares a technology that gives real-time data about the fill level of waste bins and visualizes the data, Naira Packet an app that makes payment convenient for its users and Zowasel an app that provides immediate access to 24hours payment for agricultural businesses to sell commodities in Nigeria and overseas.