AS Nigeria begins the countdown to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the telecoms revolution, which took off effectively with the commencement of GSM operations in August 2001, West Africa’s leading technology conference and showpiece, this year’s West African ICT Congress (WAFICT) and the W.Afri.Tel exhibition have been dedicated to serve as the main platform for the celebration of the country’s success in telecom in the last one decade.
And, to give vent to this declaration, the Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. Labaran Maku, has issued a formal letter endorsing the WAFICT Congress and W.Afri.Tel exhibition and urged mobile companies, ISP, government agencies and establishments, telecom operators as well as all other stakeholders, to support the events and join the ministry in giving a voice to Nigeria’s achievements in telecom.
In the letter, titled ‘To whom it may concern – Celebrating the 10the anniversary of the Nigerian Telecom Revolution: Special West African ICT Congress 2011, by IT & Telecom Digest’, endorsing the two events, which run concurrently, from June 14-16, 2011, at the new Eko Expo Hall, Lagos, the minister stated: “I am writing to confirm that the Federal Ministry of Information and Communications endorses and recommends IT & Telecom Digest Magazine to organise the West African ICT Congress 2011, as part of the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Nigerian Telecom Revolution.
“The publication will celebrate the progress that has been made during the past one decade in the Nigerian telecom industry. In doing so, IT & Telecom Digest will host the WAFICT Congress 2011, of which the Ministry is in full support and will participate fully. This is important to further open up our country to the rest of the world as the investment destination for telecom in Africa.
“In this regard, the Federal Ministry of Information and Communications officially endorses WAFICT Congress, which is being hosted alongside the 11th W.Afri.Tel Exhibition, in Eko Hotel, Lagos, June 14-16, 2011, and the Ministry hereby urges all businesses, companies, professionals, all stakeholders, government agencies, etc, to lend their support to the events and join us in celebrating this happy milestone: Ten years of the Nigerian Telecom Revolution 2001 – 2011.”
Commenting on the ministerial endorsement, Mr. Mkpe Abang, Editor-in-Chief of IT & Telecom Digest, organisers of WAFICT Congress, said: “By this endorsement, by this singular act, the minister has shown his understanding for the need to drum up Nigeria’s achievements in the telecom sector. It is common knowledge that the telecom sector in Nigeria is perhaps the really functional sector in the country in the last one decade and there is no amount of celebration that should be spared.
“Honourable Maku has also confirmed that Nigeria has a lot to offer and by that pronouncement in his letter, he confirms that he has the understanding of the currency of the times as well as the challenges for global economies which are now technology for the purpose of achieving globalisation, and for Nigeria and Africa, for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.”
Abang described the minister as “young firebrand, bubbling with ideas, stating: “In this day and time, every country needs young men and women, who are full of ideas, who are not afraid to take key decisions that can change their environments, men and women who are on top of their tasks and who can also take governance to the next level. Honourable Labaran Maku falls very well in this league, and this is why he recognises need to give a voice to an industry and to activities, like WAFICT and W.Afri.Tel, which actually fuel development and investment in the telecom sector and the economy in general.”
WAFICT Congress 2011, like last year’s edition, is being organised by IT & Telecom Digest, in conjunction with the UK-based Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), and has the theme: The Emerging New Frontier: – Opportunities and Potentials for Sustainable Growth in West Africa.
WAFICT Congress 2001 will run alongside the 11th edition of the West African International Telecommunications exhibition (W.Afri.Tel), organised by EMS of South Africa, of which IT & Telecom Digest is also the sole Nigeria agent.
Speaking further on preparations for this year’s event, Abang said that the interest from stakeholders and operators, national and international had been great.
“Whether you talk of the conference or the exhibition, the interest from both returning attendees and exhibitors as well as from sponsors and speakers has been great. And, coupled with the fact that this year, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Nigerian Telecom Revolution, the interest generated by these two events is understandably overwhelmingly high,” Abang stated.
culled from WAFICT