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ICTs, SMEs in the spotlight at WEF

09 May 2014, 12:08

Abuja - The role of information and communications technology in the heath sector and small and medium enterprises has featured prominently at the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Abuja.

The Federal Ministries of Communication Technology and Industry, Trade and Investment organized the event to showcase the potential of SMEs for growth, development and job creation.

A panel on SMEs leveraging ICTs for growth stressed the impact ICTs have on businesses and explored the reasons for low adoption of ICTs by SMEs.
The panel also deliberated on how SMEs worldwide, make significant contributions to employment, development and innovation.

The panel included Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson and Olusegun Aganga, Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, as well as Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises.

Others are Alan Marcus of WEF, Austin Okere, CEO of Computer Warehouse Group, Bukky George-CEO of HealthPlus, Shola David Borha of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Marie Francois Nelly, Country Manager of the World Bank and Eme Essien Lore-Senior Associate of the Rockefeller Foundation.

They centered their discussions on, “Empowering Africa's SMEs via ICTs'
and 'increasing access to affordable finance for African SMEs focused on the role SMEs play in economic development and the opportunities and challenges  that positively or negatively impacts SMEs.”

Johnson stressed the role that ICTs play in empowering SMEs saying such technologies could be the catalyst for inclusive growth and job creation in many countries.

“ICT can be applied to a number of processes within a business and their impact can be directly attributed to increased competitiveness and profitability. By using ICT, firms can reduce costs, lower prices, increase promotion of their product, improve their product, add new distribution channels and improve their internal processes.”

– CAJ News

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