Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has rallied global investors to look the way of Africa, especially Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu spoke, yesterday, in Marrakesh, Morocco, when he gave the keynote speech at the maiden edition of GITEX Africa 2023 digital summit.
The event runs from May 31 to June 2, 2023.
The Lagos State governor, who spoke on ‘What’s Accelerating Africa To Become The Next Silicon Valley?’ said the African digital economy is fast evolving and, therefore, requires global attention and huge investment.
He said Africa is gradually growing in the digital space, adding that its technology-enabled sector is receiving unprecedented level of growth.
He said Lagos remains the largest destination because of its positive business climate and policies of government.
Sanwo-Olu listed catalysts for tech growth in the region as: people, access and funding.
He explained that Africa has over 1.2 billion people, with 60 per cent under the age of 25 years. On access, he said the people are yearning for access, stressing that over 700 million are mobile enabled, while some 500 million people are connected to the Internet.
According to him, startups are gaining traction with over $4 billion raised in 2022. He said these are pointers to the region’s potential, but more investments are still needed.
Already, Africa’s digital economy is expected to top $712 billion by 2050, moving from $180 billion in 2025 and $115 billion in 2020.
To realise this projection, it was revealed that governments are working to enable access to digital-first government, health care and education, and develop digital skills through capacity building and similar initiatives.
Meanwhile, while declaring open the event, Moroccan Head of Government, Aziz Akhannouch, said the summit is now the largest tech and start-up show in the African continent.
Akhannouch, who welcomed the 900 exhibitors and start-ups, 250 leading investors, 250 conference speakers, and 30 ministerial delegations and tens of thousands of attendees from 120 countries, said the time for Africa to rise through innovation is now.
According to him, GITEX Africa 2023 will also be the catalyst of multiple investment pledges and pubic-private partnership announcements, spearheading the acceleration of Africa’s digital transformation initiatives.
“In light of the economic turmoil and profound transformations the world is witnessing today, digital technology has become an essential and unprecedented lever for economic development both internationally, and in the African continent in particular.
“Africa has increasingly worked to consolidate its position as a dynamic environment that supports innovation, and in this regard, GITEX Africa is an occasion to highlight the promising potential of the African continent and its accelerated efforts in developing talents and skills in the fields of technology and innovation,” he stated.
He disclosed that the GITEX Africa 2023 is held under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, and hosted by the Digital Development Agency (ADD), under the authority of the Moroccan Ministry of Digital Transition and Administration Reform.