• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Technology key to achieving SDGs, economic growth – Experts

Technology key to achieving SDGs, economic growth – Experts

Experts at the Sustainability Tables Series 2022 have said that technology remains crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is at the center of economic development for people at the grassroots level.

Kayode Olaniyan, convener of Sustainability Table Series, said there is a need to leverage technology as a strategic tool and accelerator for collaboration, leapfrogging and establishing connections that support the economy.

The event, organised by Avant-Garde Innovation and Technology Services with the theme: ‘Sustainable Development Goals in the Fourth Industrial Revolution – Opportunities for growth in a circular economy’, charted pathways for accelerated growth and sustainable development in Nigeria.

“Nigeria’s description as a big growth market has persisted for years. Despite such optimism, the country’s growth trajectory perpetuates a reversion of its potential in the wake of the fourth industrial revolution. Recent trends portray that the true acceleration of potential of the country lies in rapid digitisation, which will leapfrog Nigeria in its economic development and prosperity,” Olaniyan said.

Kazeem Oladepo, vice president of GICL, said: “We have become a connected world. Within Nigeria, there is over 6,000km of fibre cable infrastructure connecting people. Despite this, 32 to 36 million Nigerians are currently unconnected, with communities that lack telephony and data access.

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“Compounding this, there is a deficit in the mid-access network, the home access network and essential infrastructure, making it impossible for the nation to leapfrog from the third industrial revolution to the fourth industrial revolution and harness the potential of evolving technologies.”

He stressed the need to create end-solutions that bring the enabling networks required to unlock the fourth industrial revolution in Nigeria as close as possible to the end users.

“At the core of sustainability is a circular economy, and at the core of a circular economy is connectivity. Connectivity helps with preserving and replacing resources, and ensures we are not duplicating resources, assets, and infrastructure that can be shared by multiple users on an open-access basis” Oladepo said.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, represented by Olalekan Fatodu, his senior special assistant on SDGs, said the convergence of technological and infrastructural development are the most viable means of achieving sustainable growth as stated in the 2030 agenda.

“With the universal and inclusive presence of technology in modern society, one important element connecting the SDGs to technological innovation is the reality of the fourth industrial revolution. The fourth industrial revolution has offered cities the opportunity to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy,” he said.

Highlighting Lagos State’s progress in catalysing the fourth industrial revolution and outlining pathways for accelerated progress, the governor said: “Along with the government’s political commitment, supported with enduring policies and actions, a formidable partnership among the government, private sector, NGOs and the citizens is essential.”