By Prince Osuagwu & Emmanuel Elebeke
Face to face with a nine year old Microsoft Certified Professional, MCP, Miss Favour Nwaiwu, at the weekend, Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi, felt that not enough has been done in the area of ICT in Anambra state after all.
Yet, it was the same Obi that has pulled some specific ICT projects within his short time as governor of Anambra state, to earn him the ICT Governor of the year in this yearâ€™s edition of Titan Of Tech Awards, organised by independent TV producers, Technology Africa.
Irrespective of the encomiums and pat on the back, immediately his award citation was read, for initiating laudable projects to lift Anambra state, the Governor was even aiming higher. He has the ambition of making his state, Nigeriaâ€™s ICT hub and model on which other states would copy how to leverage political administrations from ICT applications.
He may have beenÂ challenged by the unveiling of little miss Nwaiwu as ICT Revolution, in the same Award ceremony but he was more so, reacting to the call of Nigeriaâ€™s IT Oracle Mr Chris Uwaje who was inducted into the Legends of Tech on that day. Uwaje had dedicated his award as Legend of Tech â€œto the children of Africa, who must be rescued from digital colonisation.
This is even as Nwaiwu herself, dedicated her own award to her fellow kids and challenged everybody to put more interest in ICT.
Reacting to the award as ICT Governor of the Year, Gov Obi, who was represented by the stateâ€™s Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Prof. Chinyere Okunna, said that Anambra state government would now provide more ICT facilities to both primary and secondary school levels in the state, in order to empower more of the youths.
According to Okunna, Gov Obiâ€™s administration is passionate about spearheading an ICT revolution in the country aimed at producing thousands of ICT champions in the mould of Philip Emeagwali, the biggest African scientist and father of internet, who incidentally comes from the state.
The state she noted was also at the forefront of promoting ICT in schools and providing ICT training for civil servants and students in the state.
Okunna recalled that the state has also become the first to produce 100 Microsoft academies, the first to begin the process of allocation of the one-laptop-per-child initiative and is indeed the first administration to give one laptop to every civil servant as against what obtains in other states where civil servants cannot have access to computer after working hours.
The Governor said that though the government received a lot of bashing and knocks at the beginning of the project, the vision had finally started yielding fruits, saying that he would continue to re-define politics in the state by developing all sectors simultaneously through his integrated development agenda.
Apart from bringingÂ honour to Nigeria, he said theÂ Nigerian world youngest Microsoft revelation has become a very big challenge to Nigerian youths and to the government to see reasons why it should invest in the younger generation to be able to discover and develop their potentials.
He promised that his administration will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that commensurate attention is given to the younger citizens of the state who were underated.
The governor also restated the commitment of his administration to focus in empowering the youths since they remain the future of the present generation.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of the occasion, Col. Aiyegbeni Peters (Rtd) said the importance of ICT in the development of the nation cannot be overemphasized. He statedÂ that ICT has contributed immensely towards the development of the many nations in the world and be allowed to play similar role in the development of Nigerian economy.
In her submission, the Director General of Kofi Annan Centre of ICT Excellence, Dr. Dorothy Gordon said the level of priority accorded to ICT by the African leaders will go a long way in determine the viability of the continents economy.
She said the world had moved into a knowledge economy and that it is only the amount of facility and available access to internet connectivity that would determine if African people could join the rest of the world into the knowledge economy.
She therefore encouraged Nigerians to make necessary investment in technology to be able to have a better future.
â€œwe have to wake to ensure that our decision making is very strategic,â€said Gordon.
Meanwhile, other awards received at the occasion include: Legends of Technology awards, ICT revelation awards, and West Africa ICT Development Awards.
On the Legends of Technology category, the recipients include: Chris Uwaje, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem andÂ John Obaro. The ICT male of the year Awards went to Professor Clement Zidone of Ghana as Dr, Dorothy Gordone, also of Ghana got the ICT female of the year award.
The 9 year old Favour NwaiwuÂ received the ICT revelation of the year award.
For ICT training institution of the year and value added company of the year, theÂ awards went to NIIT and Alpha Technologies respectively.
New Horizon received the ICT support of the year, while ICT inftrastructure of the year awards went o Swap Technologies.