How technology can drive economic devernment, SDGs, by experts
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are at the centre of economic development for people at the grassroots, will be achieved through the support of technology, analysts at the 2022 Sustainability Table Series have said.
Convener, of the Series, Kayode Olaniyan, said, at the weekend, that there is need to leverage technology as a strategic tool and accelerator for collaboration, leapfrogging and establishing connections that support the economy.
The event, organised by Avant-Garde Innovation and Technology Services, with theme: ‘SDGs in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) – Opportunities for Growth in a Circular Economy’, charted pathways for accelerated growth and sustainable development in Nigeria.
He said: “Nigeria’s description as a big growth market has persisted for years. Despite such optimism, the country’s growth trajectory perpetuates a reversion of its potential in the wake of the fourth industrial revolution. Recent trends portray that the true acceleration of potential of the country lies in rapid digitisation, which will leapfrog Nigeria in its economic development and prosperity.”
In his keynote address, Vice President, GICL, Kazeem Oladepo, said: “We have become a connected world. Within Nigeria, there is over 6,000km of fibre cable infrastructure connecting people. Despite this, 32 to 36 million Nigerians are currently unconnected, with communities that lack telephony and data access. Compounding this, there is a deficit in the mid-access network, the home access network and essential infrastructure, making it impossible for the nation to leapfrog from the third industrial revolution to the fourth industrial revolution and harness the potential of evolving technologies.”
Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by Mr. Olalekan Fatodu, the Senior Special Assistant on SDGs to the Governor, said the convergence of technological development and development in infrastructure are the most viable means of achieving sustainable growth as encapsulated in the 2030 agenda.
“With the universal and inclusive presence of technology in modern society, one important element connecting the SDGs to technological innovation is the reality of the fourth industrial revolution. The fourth industrial revolution has offered cities the opportunity to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy,” he said.
Ending the event with an insightful fireside chat, Ibukun Faluyi, Sustainability Specialist and Executive Secretary, E-waste Producer Responsibility Organisation Nigeria (EPRON), spoke on electronic waste, its impact on society and effective e-waste management. She remarked that Nigeria is far behind with e-waste management and offered a fresh perspective on tackling it:
“E-waste management requires huge capital investment, but there is a business case for it. If you look at oil and gas projects, they are not cheap. But people invest in it. The same thing needs to be done with e-waste management.”