Technology deployment has been tipped as one major way of boosting food security and transparency in Nigeria.
The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina ,made this disclosure while receiving an honorary doctorate, which was conferred on him at the 38th Founders’ Day and 30th convocation ceremony of the Federal University of Technology Minna, on Wednesday.
The press statement was published on AfDB’s website, and titled ‘AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina awarded an honorary doctoral degree at the Federal University of Technology Minna and titled : ‘ Calls on graduating class to create a new, greater and dynamic Nigeria’.
Adesina was quoted in the statement as saying, “Technology drives the world. As Minister of Agriculture, I turned to the power of technology, mobile phones, to provide 15 million farmers with access to improved seeds and fertilizers, with a view to ending corruption in the sector.
“It was revolutionary – the first, not only in Africa but in the world. It helped Nigeria produce a record additional 21 million metric tons of food. It boosted food security and expanded wealth for farmers, from the northeast, northwest, north-central, southwest, east, and south-south of the country.
“It brought transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.”
The statement also read, “Several Nigerian Fintech entrepreneurs are already using tech to deliver digital payment systems with three of Nigeria’s fintech (Intersswitch, Pay Pal and Flutterwave) reaching the $1bn mark. Adesina said African Fintechs raised $1.4bn in 2019, three times what was raised in 2019, and in 2021 they raised about $5bn.”
Adesina further emphasised the key roles of technology for enhancing security systems, military reconnaissance and intelligence, satellite imagery, and remote sensing to track the effects of climate change, artificial intelligence, alongside drones to deliver agricultural inputs and medical supplies to remote locations.
Adesina also stressed that cognitive robots would become a part of office and industrial spaces in the future.
He was quoted as saying, “Cognitive robots now power industrial manufacturing. In the very near future, due to machine learning and artificial intelligence, your colleagues in the office or industry will not be just Musa, Emeka, Yetunde, or Ada, but Yekini Jones or Bobo – the robots. They will even wear caps or head ties. Through facial recognition, Yekini and Bobo the robots will greet you every morning, saying “Hello Musa, Emeka, Yetunde, and Ada. And you will say, “Hello Yekini, Hello Bobo. Let’s roll.”
It was also stated that the AfDB was preparing the youth of Africa to lead in the new digital economy, as the Bank provided $170m to Nigeria to help drive its I-DICE initiative that will help expand the digital industry and grow jobs in the creative industries.