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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Olufuye sets agenda for 21st century leadership

National President of the Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN), Dr. Jimson Olufuye, has highlighted three points that could transform the current state of Nigeria to the much expected leadership role in Africa.

Speaking at the just concluded forum on Economic Development and Innovation as part of the global business representatives to the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UN-CSTD) working group on the Improvement to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Olufuye listed three points agenda.

He stressed the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) and the Internet for economic growth and development for developing nations including Nigeria.

Olufuye said that developing nations should embrace ICT for a cheetarpolevault development which is beyond leapfrogging.

He outlined the three-point agenda to include “leadership 2.0, Open and Multi-stakeholder participation in governance and policy focus.”

On the Leadership 2.0, Dr. Olufuye said it involves humility in leadership, adding that leaders need to be humble as they lead by constantly serving and listening to the people with the view of taking action that is best for them.

The second point, he said, is about engaging the stakeholders and the people in an open, inclusive and multi-stakeholder participation in governance.

“This is the approach of the UN on the governance of the Internet where all stakeholders from developed and developing nations and across all geographic regions of the world and on equal
footing participate in open dialogue to shape the future of the Internet,” he said.

According to him, this approach to governance is highly recommended, thus suggesting that it is when there are many ideas that the best idea emanates and that is innovation, adding that President Obama administration is a leader in this approach to governance.

The third point, Dr. Olufuye said is on policy focus, emphasising that the critical policy or point of
innovation so attained must be focused upon in implementation to provide the economic cutting edge economy requires.

“Most decision makers in Nigeria know that when it comes to policy articulation, Nigeria is no way in want. What matters the most which we lack is policy focus,” he said.

While declaring that Nigeria already has an Information Technology (IT) Policy, Olufuye noted that the nation has the development of hardware, software and services with the underlining human capacity and capability development, the National IT Development Agency (NITDA).

For him, NITDA could be chasing shadows and wasting critical development time by trying to formulate a distinct software policy.

“There must be policy focus for development,” he asserted.

Dr Olufuye was at the WSIS Forum in Geneva as one of the five global business representatives to the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development Working Group on the Improvement to the Internet Governance Forum. He is also the Vice-Chairman of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA).

The forum was attended by embassy personnel from India, China, Nigeria and Ghana to mention but a few, including members of UN-CSTD namely Ms Marilyn Cade, Chief Catalyst IGF USA and Mr. Patrik Falstrom, Distinguished Consulting Engineer, Cisco.

Other speakers were Mr. Vine Cerf, the Chief Internet Evangelist of Google and one of the fathers of the Internet who together with Bob Kahn invented the TCP/IP protocol on which the Internet is based. Speakers also came from the World Economic Forum, Diplo Foundation, eBay and Google.

Remmy Nweke:
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