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Every 20% rise in ICT equals over 1% jump in GDP—Frank Li, Huawei MD

The managing director of Huawei Nigeria Limited, Mr. Frank Li has revealed that information and communications Technology (ICT) is now a catalyst spoon feeding the deepening of sub-Saharan economies and Nigerian economy in particular.

In an interview in Lagos, he said “In the previous times, the GDP was rated based on the traditional industries’ contributions”.

Continuing, Li added that “Nowadays, the global connecting index report shows that every 20 per cent increase in the ICT industry leads to over one per cent increase in the GDP. We do see that the Information and Communications Technology domain is globally driving the digital economy.

 “Before now, raising capital was the focus for businesses, because it was critical in value creation. However, today, capital will become of no effect without knowledge. Knowledge fertilises capital for growth. For example, our lives have changed since the advent of mobile Internet. In the past, we walked outside to flank down taxi, but look at what companies like Uber and Jiji are doing. With your smartphone, it is easy to book for a taxi through an app; sell and buy online, thereby saving costs and time.

“This is the way the digital economy has totally changed our lives. It is a typical example of how the ICT industry changes the whole system in Nigeria. There is the ‘direct project’ that connects the Galaxy Backbone and the data centre for the Federal Government. If we focus on the farmers at the rural areas, we will see they lack access to predictions about the future economy – the kind of period to farm or carry out their functions.

He said “With the kind of projects Huawei is collaborating with the government, these challenges are being surmounted. Suffice to say that the ICT has become business enablers for government to become e-government. Now, governments can have the e-platform in rural areas for farmers to have access to the Internet. That means, the ICT tools create more job opportunities, value and enhance lives.

According to him, “Our innovation and experience centre is also a response to the Nigerian government’s call on driving digital economy. Therefore, we are assisting the government and our partners to create that ecosystem to build a better connected Nigeria. It will not be long for the initiatives to begin to yield even more results and grow the GDP.

Explaining more on areas his group is partnering with the government, Li said “government should not relent on working with Huawei and other partners to understand the principles of digital economy”. T

“The government should not discontinue in its quest to understand what is digital transformation, digital economy and the benefits. Another thing is having the policy to encourage partner companies to form an ecosystem, because Huawei cannot do it alone. For example, if there is a policy to encourage more enterprises to embrace the technologies we have, then more private and public organisations will open their doors to more innovations.