$500 Million to be injected into Nigeria’s Digital and Creative Enterprise by the African Development Bank (AFDB), with its partners the Bank’s President revealed
By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone- The president of African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has said the bank, alongside its partners are set to invest $500m into the Nigeria’s Digital and Creative Enterprises (i-DICE), which he believes would help to create sustainable jobs
and make Nigeria a global powerhouse in these industries.
Dr. Akinwunmi – the keynote speaker at the 2021 edition of NECCIPR meeting that deals with Social Media, National Security, and Social change said in his keynote speech.
He announced during the #EndSARS protests in 2020, Twitter was disallowed indefinitely by the Federal Government of Nigeria and positioned out of duration for most Nigerians and support for, or the surge against the ban of a social media platform, indicates the difficult predicament administrations face as they strive to blow a balance between freedom of expression and national security.
“However, social media has given rise to what is now described as the “Fifth Estate”: ‘people power’, fully independent from any government control or vested interests. And Fifth Estate can and should be a win for democracy and human rights protections because, in many parts of the world, we see this on display all the time whether it be live-streamed political debates or discussions on critical issues or exposes on the tragic killing of George Floyd, or corrupt law enforcement officers caught on camera soliciting bribes on highways and byways, social media continues to play a role in protecting rights and ensuring the rule of law.
“Depending on how it is used and who it is used by and for what purpose, has tremendous power for good or for bad. But the constant reality is that we live in a binary world of truth and misinformation.
“As technology advances, so too do the challenges to national security in the virtual space. Technology is neutral. It is the use that it is put that defines acceptable and unacceptable boundaries. Ultimately the vital question of who owns, controls and spreads information will arise. Today, the owners of social media platforms wield unprecedented power.”
“Government must recognize the power of homegrown, or global social media platforms as strategic instruments for direct communication with the public they serve, in a way that is more consistent with the day-to-day realities of citizens.
“Nigeria is home to three unicorns tech, and tech-enabling companies with valuations exceeding $1 billion Paystack, Flutterwave and Interswitch. The $200 million investment by Stripe (a Silicon Valley firm) in the local payments company Paystack, and $400 million in three Fintech companies in just one week in 2019, signal the enormous
potential that Nigeria has for attracting global digital commerce and financial services.
And considering that almost 70 percent of Nigeria’s population is under the age of 35, the impact of development or the lack thereof is critical to the future of Nigeria, and did could be dangerous because an unemployed generation of young men and women is probably a nation’s greatest security risk and not the use of social media per se. The
kind of social change we would like to see is only possible if the youth have hope, jobs, and confidence in the future.
“We must close the digital divide. Every Nigerian should have reliable and affordable internet access. This access will expand digital financial inclusion and wider use of social media platforms.
“The role of leaders is to anticipate the future before it arrives and to create an enabling environment with robust infrastructure, the right policies, rules, and regulations by fully leveraging the power of technology, social media and communication platforms, so as to create a better, more inclusive, and prosperous Nigeria.”
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent