Nigeria to help Namibia boost agriculture

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Nigeria, through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will be assisting the Republic of Namibia in enhancing modern agricultural practices using HiTech innovations.

To this end, the two nations are exploring all derivatives available in innovations and entrepreneurship in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) project.

NITDA Director General, Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, while hosting the High Commissioner of Namibia to Nigeria and Permanent Representative to ECOWAS, Mr Humphrey Geiseh at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarters in Abuja on Friday, said it was imperative for African countries to encourage “Made in Africa” products by exploring and exploiting opportunities provided by emerging technologies to build an enviable global market standard.

The DG said that Agriculture, which is one of the major sources of income in Namibia was one of the areas the Agency identified in which technology can be used as a game changer. He stated that the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture, (NAVSA) was one of the initiatives of the NITDA that could help Namibia boost her productivity in Agriculture.

“This is an area where we can explore partnerships. We can get some startups who can develop solutions for you and on our part, also learn how you manage your agricultural business.

“NITDA has a yearly flagship programme called ‘e-Nigeria’, an international conference and exhibition programme where local start-ups are invited to showcase their products, and this year’s programme would be tagged ‘Digital Nigeria’ because of the evolution from electronic to digital system.”

“We are having a one-week Digital Nigeria International Conference and we are extending the invitation to you. You can bring people from Namibia to the conference to have a glimpse of our ecosystem where you will meet some of our startups, share ideas, challenges and see how we can use technology to grow our economy as a continent”, Abdullahi proposed.

He further disclosed that the Agency established the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics specifically for researching best ways to apply technologies in the Health, Agricultural and other sectors saying “I will invite you to visit our Centre as well and see how you can borrow some of the ideas and domesticate it in Namibia”

The DG mentioned that promoting Indigenous and Local Content, which is another strategic pillar of the Agency was aimed at supporting local start-ups and encouraging Made in Africa products.

He opined that African countries should share experiences and ideas in order to build world class products while laying emphasis that it is easier to procure products from neighbouring countries than other continents.

It Mr Geiseh in his earlier remark said that Namibia and Nigeria were both African countries who had been long standing friends since Namibia’s independence.

He disclosed that Namibia has a population of about 2.4 million and almost one-third of her population are internet users according to statistics as of 2018.

He mentioned that the country was committed to providing necessary opportunities for the youth to be exposed to concepts and technologies that would dominate their lives in the near future.

“In Namibia, we recognise the role of the youths in the affairs of the country and in the future prosperity of the Nation which has prompted our visit today to basically know how your agency has advanced in the areas of ICT so we can identify common challenges and proffer solutions in areas where both countries can work together”, the High Commissioner disclosed.

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