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FG, Sierra Leone mull cross-border technological collaboration

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has affirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to collaborate with Sierra Leone on technological advancements.

Mr Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General, NITDA, made the commitment when Ms Salima Bah, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Communication, Technology and Innovations, paid him a working visit in Abuja on Friday.

Inuwa, represented by Dr Aristotle Onumo, Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy Department of the agency, said it was a move to actualise the Strategic Partnerships and Collaboration pillar of its Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan 2023 to 2027.

He said: “It is necessary for various stakeholders within and beyond the public sector to collaborate, and a Digital Transformation Working Group will be established within each ministry.

“This collaborative effort aims at ensuring the relevance of policies, frameworks and guidelines across governmental agencies.” 

On NITDA’s approach to regulating Information Technology (IT) matters, the D-G stressed the importance of stakeholder engagement and understanding of their needs, problems and fears.

He underscored the significance of developing laws and policies that addressed the concerns effectively.

He also recommended an annual submission of IT plans by government agencies to ease monitoring of service delivery.

Inuwa added that it would also ensure that its initiatives aligned with the agency’s objectives in the use of IT clearance as a swift mechanism for enforcing standards.

Bah, on her part, underscored the importance of collaboration in propelling Africa forward in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain.

She said Africa needed to leverage the technologies for mutual benefit rather than being mere consumers.

Bah also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to learn from NITDA’s expertise in policy implementation, digital development and enforcement of standards and guidelines.

She said that the meeting signified a pivotal step towards fostering cross-border collaboration and advancing digital innovation within the African continent. (NAN)

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