The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa has said Nigeria positioning has better advantage to surpass India’s $150 billion annual outsourcing earnings.
He said this in Lagos as Nigeria finally joined the Cisco Country Digital Acceleration Programme, saying it was to help strengthen the country’s digital transformation agenda.
Inuwa, during the launch of Cisco EDGE Centre in Nigeria last week, said Nigeria has better competitive advantages to help us leverage above what India is earning and position a strong global outsourcing country.
“We have a younger population than India, we have better English-speaking people as well as a better time zone. Most of these businesses, the western companies in the US market, if you look at the time difference, Nigeria is closer to them.
“We have everything working to our advantage, to surpass India”, Inuwa said.
Reports say over $150 billion in software is exported from India annually, nearly 60% for US companies and 30% for Europe and the UK. The Indian tech industry focuses primarily on exporting software rather than building products for local use.
Report also has it that most Indian software engineers have worked for global companies, so they know Western expectations regarding deliverables and communication. And because English is the primary language of the industry, collaboration is much easier.
Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration Programme, CDA was founded in 2015 and has since evolved into programs in 49 countries, with over 1,500 active or completed projects – encompassing over two-thirds of the world’s population and 75 percent of global GDP.
The agreement to join the programme happened in May this year, when Cisco and the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA signed a memorandum of understanding, MoU with the aim to support the nation’s digital transformation agenda and contribute towards digital skills training and development.
However, the manifestation came yesterday, when a leading provider of technology solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa, Technology Distributions, TD Africa and Cisco joined forces, to establish a Cisco EDGE Centre in Lagos.
EDGE which stands for “Experience, Design, Go to Market, (GTM) and Earn”, is part of Cisco’s CDA program in Nigeria.
The objective is to share business knowledge to stimulate innovation, help develop small and medium businesses in the digital age, speed up their entry to market and as a result create new jobs for the local economy.
The centre hosts three key functions under one roof. It provides a space where local partners can showcase technologies and host client events; it brings resources and tools to local innovators and entrepreneurs to help them develop more secure, intelligent, and connected solutions; and offers training programs and education in the most advanced digital technologies.
Located at the Tech Experience Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, the hub functions as an incubator, providing small and medium businesses with access to Cisco communication and collaboration technology, alongside training and enablement programs.
It will also help Small micro and medium enterprises, SMMEs to connect with global Cisco experts, who can support them develop business ideas and concepts in a digital world.
Cisco’s Executive Vice President and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer Fran Katsoudas said: “With its vibrant economy and young population, Nigeria stands to benefit from the promise of an inclusive digital future. Cisco is here to help the nation with digital skills development, innovation and incubation as well as cutting edge technologies. Today, we welcome Nigeria to the Cisco Country Digital Acceleration program and look forward to working with businesses, government, and academia, enabling them to take the lead in shaping the future and driving social and economic inclusion from the ground up”
Coordinating Managing Director of TD Africa, Chioma Chimere, said: “Through this collaboration with Cisco, we aim to enableSMMEsscale rapidly by providing the tools, resources, and knowledge required to thrive in the digital age. By fostering skill retention and development, we can ensure that individuals are adequately empowered with the expertise to excel in the ever-evolving technology landscape. We are convinced that this partnership will not only drive growth; our theme for the fiscal year, but also create new job opportunities, laying the foundation for a brighter and more inclusive future.”
A key pillar of the CDA program in Nigeria is Cisco Networking Academy, which is one of the longest-standing IT skills-to-jobs programs in the world. It has currently trained over 120,000 students at 228 academies across the country.
Over the past years it has equipped over 400,000 people in Nigeria with the digital and cybersecurity skills.