Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Technology, key to growth – Ovia

THE Managing Director, Zenith Bank and founder of Visafone, Mr. Jim Ovia, has said that attaining the goal of vision 20-2020 can only be achievable through technology.

Ovia who was speaking at the Technology Times Outlook 2009, in Lagos, also said that for any nation to be considered among those aspiring to attain development in 2020, she must attain an average per capital income level of 100 US dollars per day.

“For meaningful development there is need to improve on the present 40 per cent teledensity and two per cent internet penetration,” he declared, stating that the cost of communication is expensive to embark on.

In addition, Mr Ovia said it cost a lot of money to lay optic fibre cables and to maintain infrastructure. This explains why it has been difficult to bridge the digital divide with the speed expected.

The Visafone boss, said strengthening education, empowering for employment, improving healthcare to alleviate poverty, migrating from electronic to mobile commerce, promoting local entrepreneurs are some of the strategies for empowering the less privileged in the society.

Others, he said, are making the world wide web (www) local, engaging the marginalized, improved governance, and social mobility and mobilization.

‘Access to information is the main difference between those who have and haves not,” he said.

On the way forward, Mr. Ovia said empowering the masses through education, tackling poverty, improving infrastructure, strengthening public private partnerships (PPPs), capacity building, connectivity and training women are some of the strategies for development.

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