Lagos State deputy governor, Obafemi Hamzat, says the current administration is deepening the technology ecosystem to drive more investments into the state.
“In the past year, Lagos has attracted over $1 billion in data centre investment. This will enable the local domicile of digital platforms as well as open our state for more digital technology opportunities. The proliferation of these investments also presents opportunities for talent development within the ecosystem,” Hamzat said in a keynote address at the Art of Technology (AOT) Lagos 4.0 held at the Landmark Event Centre, Lagos.
According to him, the continuing success of the conference is a testament to the platform it provides to both public and private sector stakeholders to co-create and drive value in the tech ecosystem.
“The entrepreneurial environment and the open support for technology informed this administration’s increasing focus on innovation in a bid to drive value outputs for this ecosystem,” he added.
Hamzat further noted that the current administration, through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), has funded digital skills training interventions for over 4000 beneficiaries.
According to him, these digital skills training are needed for capacity interventions that lend positively to the development of the tech ecosystem in Nigeria.
He said all stakeholders must recognise the challenges within the tech ecosystem; hence the theme of the AOT Lagos 4.0, “Talent acceleration and a smarter Lagos” deals with the fundamental issue underpinning the development of Nigeria’s value creating ecosystem and the talent shortage in the tech industry.
“Today we hope to once again co-create the strategies and tactical initiatives that will deepen talent output and development in this sector.
“The talent challenges are global; it is especially acute in developing nations. We hope that today and tomorrow will contribute to a turning point in the talent conversation in our environment,” said Hamzat.
Hakeem Fahm, the commissioner for science and technology, Lagos State, in his welcome address, at the event, said co-working spaces were essential in deepening the tech ecosystem in Lagos.
According to him, tech conferences like the AoT Lagos are meant to explore policy and strategy to help Lagos get better, especially with talent acceleration and a smarter Lagos, in leveraging technology to deliver dividends of democracy.
Fahm said Lagos was creating a 10-year roadmap to achieve talent acceleration within the tech ecosystem which, when fully materialised, will assist the youth in achieving their objectives.
Olatunbosun Alake, the special adviser to the state governor on innovation and technology, said there was a need to invest more in talent training and capacity development to bridge industry gaps and other associated challenges.
According to him, Nigeria needs the critical mass of talents within the tech ecosystem, which is the primary purpose of AoT Lagos 4.0 on the back of the diversity of tech talents in Lagos. “AoT Lagos was devised to showcase tech talents in Nigeria towards creating solutions,” Alake added.