Technology innovation drives Nigeria’s $3bn Energy Modernisation Programme

*GITEX technology week.

*GITEX technology week.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

18 October 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Energy companies are playing a leading role in supporting high-tech energy infrastructure projects in Nigeria and across Africa, according to the head of research and development at one of the leading multinational investors in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry set to speak at GITEX Technology Week in Dubai.

Nigeria’s ambitious $3 billion energy modernisation programme aims to expand the electricity supply, create more efficient energy production and usage, and increase rural and semi-urban power access from 35 per cent to 75 per cent.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer, and the world’s fourth-largest liquefied natural gas exporter, according to the United States Energy Information Administration. Pascal Dauboin, Senior Advisor for Digital Technologies at Total, believes oil and gas companies’ experience of working in a multinational and multicultural context can help drive innovation across energy sector.

“In today’s interconnected world, the ability to find, share, and integrate knowledge from across the spectrum is essential,” said Dauboin, who will present on “Open Innovation and Digital Oilfields” at GITEX Technology Week, one of the world’s most influential technology events, which is set to host more than 4,000 exhibiting companies, 64 participating countries, and 230 speakers.

“The oil and gas industry is rapidly undergoing a digital transformation, with a rapid uptake in innovative technologies that are driving digital oilfields. Total is at the forefront of adopting innovations such as drones, robotics, and early event detection systems to monitor and repair infrastructure, while new generations of sensors enable the development of new products for real time, on-line analysis, following the always increasing safety and quality requirements.

“Digitally transformed processes will increase performance, robustness and safety in many industrial domains, while building the job skills of tomorrow,” added Dauboin.

To promote international interest in ICT opportunities in Nigeria and across the continent, Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will host an Africa Investment Forum at GITEX Technology Week.

“From digital oilfields running on drones and robotics, to smart grids distributing electricity generated from renewable energy, the energy sector in Nigeria and Africa hosts tremendous investment opportunities.

“GITEX Technology Week’s Africa Investment Forum provides the opportunity for companies to find new investment opportunities under one roof,” said the Director General of Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim.

This year’s GITEX Technology Week will also include the GITEX Global Startup Movement, which aims to be the world’s most global week-long startup showcase in 2016, hosting more than 400 startups from 60 countries, and more than 1,000 entrepreneurs under one roof to invest, sell, and learn. NITDA will be sponsoring at least 15 of Nigeria’s game-changing startups.

With its focus on emerging markets, the GITEX Global Startup Movement is attracting a strong field of innovative entrepreneurs from Africa, including Nigeria’s farm-to-table online marketplace Foodstantly, and the world’s first smart interactive business card called WANI.

“Dubai connects Africa to global investors and companies. The energy, oil, and gas sector in Nigeria and Africa is rapidly undergoing digital transformation, and key players can discover the latest innovations and business opportunities at GITEX Technology Week,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice-President for Exhibitions and Events Management at the Dubai World Trade Centre, which hosts GITEX Technology Week.

GITEX Technology Week is also dedicated to emerging technology, including artificial and augmented reality, and drones, robotics, and 3D printing. The GITEX Vertical Days conference programme will focus on the disruptive potential for technology in key verticals such as education, energy, finance, healthcare, intelligent cities, marketing, and retail.

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