Microsoft links digital transformation to good governance

Microsoft / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERT


•Completes undersea cable with Facebook

Microsoft Nigeria in collaboration with Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated its commitment towards digital transformation of the public sector to make governance more accessible and efficient for the benefit of the people.

This was the highlight of a one-day government conference focused on digital transformation in the public sector.“The Government of Nigeria recognizes the urgent need to increase efficiency and transparency, improve and align processes, smart government and smart cities, attract new investors, bridge the digital divide and transform government services.“ said the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, who gave the keynote address.

Meanwhile, less than two years after the project began, the highest capacity subsea cable ever to stretch across the Atlantic Ocean is complete. The system, developed through the collaboration of Microsoft, Facebook, and telecommunication infrastructure firm Telxius can transmit 160 terabits of data per second – or, the equivalent of streaming 71 million high-definition videos at once.

Adebayo said the Federal Government, realising the importance of digitization to national development has put in place a plan focused on achieving vision 20:2020 with the development of the ICT industry as pivotal to achieving these objectives.

“In order to rationalize the work towards achieving Vision 20:2020, the Government of Nigeria has developed the new ICT strategic roadmap, it details how Nigeria will leverage ICT to become a knowledge-based, globally competitive society by 2020.”

Welcoming participants to the conference, General Manager Microsoft Nigeria, Akin Banuso said “Digital transformation has become the bedrock of most economies in the 21st century and Microsoft is uniquely driving the adoption across key strata of national development.” Banuso stressed that, “Digital Transformation for the government is about making the government more accessible, efficient and transparent to people. It is also about unlocking insights from data. By understanding the data, government organisations can realize and increase the value of their information through digital transformation.”

Director General, NITDA, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, in his speech said accelerating digital transformation is premised on effective regulation.According to him, “Transformation will only take place if matched by regulation.”

He spoke on the role of NITDA in helping the government achieve its socio-economic agenda. He stressed that NITDA is creating awareness in the public sector, facilitating digital literacy, developing standard guidelines and framework for government agencies.

President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, said submarine cables in the Atlantic already carry 55 per cent more data than trans-Pacific routes and 40 per cent more data than between the US and Latin America.

‘‘There is no question that the demand for data flows across the Atlantic will continue to increase and Marea will provide a critical connection for the United States, Spain, and beyond.”

Representatives from Facebook and Microsoft joined with Virginia’s governor and two senators in Williamsburg to celebrate the cable’s completion on Friday morning. The 4,000-mile cable runs from Bilbao, Spain, to Virginia Beach. It can transmit 160 terabits of data per second,’’ he stated.

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