The Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has stated that Africa must leverage on existing technological platforms to adapt home-grown innovation and solutions to resolve the socio-economic challenges currently facing Africa while keeping an eye on global acceptability.
Speaking at the 4th edition of Transform Africa Summit, holding in Kigali Convention Centre, Kigali Rwanda, Governor Ikpeazu who made a presentation on “Accelerating Digital Governance”, stated that African states must tag along in the global technology journey and collaborate with each other, stressing that technology has too many advantages for any sane leader or society to ignore.
Governor Ikpeazu who used the occasion to share Abia’s experience and breakthrough using technology to facilitate efficient governance, resource mobilization and management also highlighted the efforts of his administration in using technology to solve everyday challenges in Abia state.
According to the Governor, “Abia’s latest technological innovation is the Abia Telehealth initiative also known as ‘dial-a-doc-direct’, aimed at leveraging the available huge tele-density in the state to resolve the challenges of accessible health care, in a timely and cost-effective way.
“In Africa, digital governance is yet to take roots in bridging gaps in the governance processes and providing solutions to developmental challenges. Africa is yet to leverage advancement in the digital space to resolve complex governance, human and developmental issues ranging from leadership, education, health, infrastructure, communication, planning.
“Universal health coverage is one of the bane of African societies, leveraging existing technology and the huge tele-density in Nigeria; we have built a platform for digital Tele-health system known as ‘dial-a-doc-direct’ project. This project links all the 292 ward PHCs in our rural communities to a medical call centre where e-consulting, e-diagnosis, e-prescription and an e-referral system has shortened the response and service delivery time and cost.
“With a scope that is both deep seating and far-reaching, our models are simple, uncomplicated, our results visible and measurable; our mission is simple because our vision is clear. Beyond universal healthcare for all Abians, with ICT, we are proffering sustainable solutions to most of our challenges. The benefits of ICT in processes of governance are immense, significant and evolving. We are currently witnessing a technological ‘insurgency’ in Africa that is fundamentally altering the way we live, think, work, and relate to one another. In scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation is unlike anything we have experienced before. Not everyone sees that leadership is becoming an entirely different ‘sport’, as the core of governance is swiftly being anchored on data and digitalization, and consequently, the winners and losers in this emerging environment will be determined by their understanding of technology.”
The Transform Africa Summit has become a major global platform for innovation and incubation of sustainable ideas and policies for inclusive economic growth and technological advancement.
Major government and private sector leaders including President Paul Kagame, Chairman of AU Commission, President of the United Nations General Assembly, Houlin Zhao Secretary General International Telecommunication, Rob Shutter Group President & CEO MTN, Strive Masiyiwa Founder and Chairman Econet Wireless are attending the event. Others include more than 33 Ministers from different countries, members of the diplomatic community and Heads of multinational institutions.
While in Rwanda, Governor Ikpeazu visited and lay a wreath at the Kigali Genocide Memorial centre after a brief tour of the centre.
He maintained that “Rwanda’s story is a metaphor for the development of Africa”, and urged African citizens and leaders to focus more attention on those things that unite and heal wounds inflicted during conflicts that have bedevilled Africa. According to him, “from every unfortunate conflict, there are things to learn to enable us build a better society, prevent the next conflict and deploy wartime inventions to solve peace time challenges.”