Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, is leading the Nigerian delegation to the ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022, along with Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
From February 28 to March 3, 2022, Barcelona will host the Mobile World Congress, the most prominent conference and exposition of stakeholders in mobile technology, innovation, and connectivity. The Nigerian team will meet with global ICT businesses to discuss areas of strategic partnership and investment to help Nigeria’s digital economy grow faster.
During MWC, the Nigerian delegation will attend at least 33 sessions organized by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA). The event brings together the world’s largest manufacturers, GSM operators, mobile brands, regulators, and policymakers to showcase innovations, new announcements, new products, and emerging technologies.
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), officials from the World Economic Forum (WEF), and other major actors in the global ICT ecosystem are among the teams Pantami will take other delegates from Nigeria to meet.
Pantami, Danbatta, and the Nigerian delegation’s upper echelon hit the ground running upon arrival in Barcelona, holding purposeful strategic talks with Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA), a global organization advocating for laws and regulations that will lead to more efficient and effective spectrum usage.
The focus of the conversation was on spectrum sharing and unlicensed technologies, as well as the status of DSA’s efforts in this area, with a particular emphasis on how DSA’s methods will assist Nigeria. On February 28, 2022, a meeting was held.
The Nigerian delegation also met with Nokia on the same day to discuss future government initiatives and how NCC and Nokia might work together more strategically to achieve some of the policy objectives and targets of Nigeria’s institutionalised digital digital economy processes.
Apart from attending other important sessions scheduled for the day, the Nigerian delegation met with SpaceX, a satellite operator, on March 1 to address licensing and authorisation problems that could affect SpaceX.
The Pantami-led group also met with leaders from the World Economic Forum (WEF) to discuss potential within the EDISON Alliance for Digital Inclusion, as well as the possibility of Nigeria serving as the Alliance’s Lighthouse Country.
WEF formed the EDISON Alliance to galvanize a worldwide movement to make digital inclusion a priority for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is expected to help achieve the objective of providing everyone with inexpensive and accessible digital opportunities by 2025.
The readiness to leverage relationships with EDISON Alliance to accelerate and foster unprecedented collaboration between the ICT community and other critical sectors of the economy in order to advance Nigeria’s vision on financial inclusion is one of the most significant outcomes of the discussions with WEF.
Indeed, on March 1, 2022, the Nigerian delegation will meet with the MTN team and then attend a demo at Meta’s Exhibition Stand, where Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta and the owner of Facebook, will call for worldwide collaboration to develop the next world virtual reality (metaverse). A metaverse is a collection of 3D virtual worlds designed to foster social interaction.
The Nigerian delegation will meet with a US group on March 2, 2022, to explore collaboration on telecommunications and associated ICT challenges. The Nigerian delegation will visit Huawei Technologies’ exposition and speak with the company’s senior executive management.
“The high-level discussion which the Nigerian delegation is having with both original equipment manufacturers and other key players in the ICT world will enhance deeper alliance, collaboration, and bilateral synergy required to accelerate Nigeria’s vision for a true digital economy,” Pantami said at the influential global technology congress.
Danbatta echoed the Minister’s sentiments, saying that Nigeria’s annual attendance is based on the fact that “MWC provides a vibrant deal-making environment for attendees, as it also remains a truly international exhibition attracting decision-makers in the mobile ecosystem,” which Nigeria is eager to explore to grow its telecoms and ICT industry.
Senior executives and management staff from around 2000 firms, institutions, and organisations from 183 countries are expected to attend the 2022 MWC.
Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde
2nd of March, 2022