As part of its efforts to drive collaboration and resilience among stakeholders in the telecommunications and technology sector, the Telecommunications and Technology Sustainability Working Group (TTSWG) recently hosted its 2021 webinar to address various national issues that ensure the implementation of sustainable business practices that benefit the sector and the country.
The event brought together key stakeholders and personalities in telecommunications, government, legal, the private sectors, and the media to discuss industry challenges and ways to achieve sustainable development. The webinar, hosted for the first time in 2021, will also foster partnerships between governments, the commercial sector, and civil society for a successful sustainable development strategy. Based on the theme “Collaboration for Resilient ICT Sector”, panellists discussed opportunities to be derived from strategic partnerships, policy formulation/advocacy, events, and programmes.
Speaking on the impact of TTSWG while making a Business case for sustainability, Bekeme Masade-Olowola, Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action said: “There is growing interest in sustainability around the world. This means more interest in investors as well because within sustainability are the ESG principles which look at how organisations engage their employees, communities, government, businesses and the environment. Therein lies the intrinsic value of sustainability. The ICT sector has presented itself as forward-thinking and TTSWG is propelling its effectiveness’’. Panellists at the webinar included Mr Chris Uwaje, Chair, Mobile Software Solutions Limited; ‘DeRemi Atanda, Executive Director, SystemSpecs; Eno Udoma-Eniang, Chairman, Legal and Regulatory Committee, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON); and Dr (Mrs) Wunmi Hassan, President/CEO, High-Tech Centre for Women and Youth in Nigeria.
In her remarks, Eno Udoma-Eniang spoke on the impact the ICT sector has had on the growth of other sectors and the need to do more through collaboration. ‘’ICT providers need to revolve, reinvent, and reposition to move from being traditional to basic innovative providers. There are already a few partnerships that push digital and virtual solutions. We have made growth in various sectors including telemedicine, food sustainability, Agrotech and payment solutions. There is more we can do with collaboration especially in areas such as the establishment of smart cities and rural telephony. Operators should know that the sector is stronger and must collaborate for sustainability’’. She said.
Also speaking on government and private sector collaboration, ‘DeRemi Atanda stated that governance has been challenged during the pandemic hence the need to collaborate with the ICT sector to thrive. He emphasized the importance of turning conversations into action and the role TTSWG is playing to ensure development through coopetition. The dimension of partnerships is taking the government on a platform of growth and this provides an opportunity for the private sector to thrive. This collaboration will further enhance the achievement of sustainability goals, interconnectedness with policy conversations, advocacy and solutions.
The TTSWG seeks to address various national issues by mobilising human and material capital available to stakeholders in the focus sector to ensure sustainable practices that benefit the sector and the country.
Providing insight for a way forward in the ICT industry, Mr Chris Uwaje spoke on the importance to refocus our policy and strategy. The new economy requires that there is awareness of the impact of ICT. He added that Government should work with private sectors to ensure collaboration while prescribing a digital museum where young people can learn.
The TTSWG is a collaborative effort aimed at yielding joint action among key telecommunications and technology stakeholders through various strategic partnerships, policy formulation/advocacy, events and programmes. Some members of the TTSWG include MTN Nigeria, IHS Towers, Main One, Airtel, National Communications Commission (NCC), ALTON and NITDA.