Harnessing digital economy for digital economic growth

Photo: from left, Ruth Eghujovbo, Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi during exclusive panel discussion

By Chime Mark

It’s no secret that the digital economy has come to stay in Nigeria and the world at large. Different countries are beginning to prioritise their needs to promote nation-wide digital economy.

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Organisations (profit and non-profit) are however, putting in humongous efforts in order to harness these opportunities digital economy present and also grow the economy to achieve digital based and technology driven economy.

In line with this, the Tribe Africa, a non-governmental organization established with vision to raise, inspire, and equip influential young leaders in Nigeria organised its first conference in Abuja, Nigeria, with the theme: “The Digital Economy: Opportunities, Challenges and the Future”.

The 2021 Economic Re-engineering conference, which held on Saturday, 17th April, 2021 at Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja, had a team of experts in the areas of economy and Information Communication Technology (ICT) that discussed different ways Nigeria can harness the opportunities of digital economy.

The convener of the conference, Mr. Hamilton Gabriel while giving his opening remarks, said the conference seeks to provide a knowledge exchange and transfer experiences that will empower youths to explore innovative ideas for tackling socioeconomic challenges in Nigeria.

In his words: “The 2021 Economic Re-Engineering Conference seeks to provide a knowledge exchange and transfer experiences that will empower youths to explore innovative ideas for tackling socioeconomic challenges and growing both retail and corporate economy ecosystem”. Our focus is to cross fertilize ideas in different sectors while guiding participants to take advantage of opportunities, he added.

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The Former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Moghalu Kingsley in his keynote presentation, noted that the digital world and digital economy is the greatest development of the 21st century.

According to Prof. Moghalu, “Innovation is the key factor in the development of every nation. The digital world and the digital economy is the greatest development of the 21st century. The three main pillars of digital economy are: e-business, e-business infrastructure and the economy itself. Nigeria is increasingly adapting to the evolving digital economy”.

“However, we are left with two questions: Can the digital economy replace the need for industrial economy? (Definitely not) and the second question, how do we harness the opportunities that the digital economy presents to us. The nation as a whole needs to address the problem on job creation both through industrial and digital economy,” he added.

Speaking on Growing Local Economic Content in the Digital Economy, the Executive Director of DOXA GROUP, Mrs. Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi recommends that in the pace of growing your digital entity, one has to know that what is principal is the economy is in oneself!  He states that as one digitalise, remember that the first digit is oneself.

In her words: “The power of who you are at anything is the power of the transaction of your courage. When you find what you have an opportunity to do, do it with everything you have. In the pace of growing your digital entity, just know that what is principal is the economy in you!  As you digitalize, remember that the first digit is you. Hit the right decimal that translates your kobo into dollar. Invest in yourself: when you learn it, go and teach it. Teach every digit you learned in your digital economy”.

However, participants of the programme expressed their satisfaction stating that the conference was an opportunity for them to network especially in this time that businesses are technology driven.

In the words of Julius Simtong Yamso, a corps member, “Honestly this program is timely. It just came when everybody’s eyes is open due to the advent of Covid-19. Post Covid-19 needs to be approached differently. During the Covid-19, I discovered that those that leverage their business on Technology where not affected as such”.

Mr. Julius further stated that: “I learnt that as a young entrepreneur I need to leverage on the resources provided by digital economy to improve my business. I learnt that if I properly maximise the use of digital economy, my business will go worldwide without me being there. Yes, because just as one of the speaker said you need to get started”. He however, suggested that the government should bring out policies that will enhance robust outputs.

Similarly, Engr. Samuel Ogbu, who is also one of the participants of the conference, noted that it was quite an honour attending the conference. H stated that the conference was opportunity for people to network, meet people, exchange contacts and as well share values.

He noted: “What I picked from this conference is the fact that digital economy is you. We really need to add values to our lives improve in our skills. We need to solve problems!! Problems don’t get solved on their own. We really need to create a solution to problems and once we are creating a solution to problems, we are re-engineering our innovative ideas and changing our perceptions as a nation”. Engr. Ogbu further advised that youths should start adding values to themselves learn a skill and improve on it daily.

The conference ended with exclusive panel discussion with some of the keynote speakers, Mrs. Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi, MD DOXA Group, Ruth Eghujovbo, Hot 98.3 FM Abuja Station Manager and Mr. Hamilton Gabriel, the convener of the conference.

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