AOT 5.0: Gov. Sanwo-Olu Calls For Synergy Among Government, Industry, Academia, Civil Society

L-R: Olatunbosun Alake, Lagos State Commissioner for Innovation, Science and Technology; Kunle Afolayan, Nigerian Actor, Film Producer, and Entrepreneur; Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State; Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy; AOT Guest; Victor Afolabi, Curator of AOT Lagos and Founder of Eko Innovation Centre at the AOT 5.0 Conference.

The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has called for a collective endeavour that requires synergy among government, industry, academia, and civil society to build a future where the digital heartbeat of Lagos will resonate across the globe.

He made this call while delivering his executive address at the just concluded Art of Technology (AOT) Lagos 5.0 Conference held on Thursday at Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island Lagos.

The conference which was themed “The Creative Economy and a Digital Lagos” brought together government officials, industry leaders, academics, and civil society to discuss the impact of technology on the city’s development.

The Governor said his administration is going to support players in the creative industry through the ‘Kebulania ;Lagos Film City’ project and the provision of other incentives, especially to startups in the industry.

Kebulania Lagos Film City is a $100 million project in partnership with Del-York International Group which is aimed to boost innovation, talent discovery and storytelling in the industry.

In his words, “Lagos State initiatives for the creative industry, such as Investment in Infrastructure and Technology, Lagos Film City, Collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to support Intellectual Property Rights, a dedicated Lagos State Science, Research, and Innovation Council (LASRIC) cohort for the Creative Economy and the Lagos Innovation Bill, among others have yielded positive results.

“Lagos has solidified its status as Africa’s foremost fashion and creative hub, emblematic of our shared commitment to technological advancement. Notably, the music industry has burgeoned into the second-largest in Africa, boasting an annual revenue exceeding $2 billion. This achievement is underscored by our artists receiving prestigious accolades such as Grammys, and the proliferation of international streaming services attests to the industry’s global resonance.

“The transformative impact of technology on Lagos’s development is profound. Over the past decade, technology has propelled a remarkable 500 percent increase in productivity across pivotal sectors, ranging from agriculture to manufacturing. Our smart city initiatives have not only enhanced the efficiency of public services but have also significantly elevated the overall quality of life for our residents.

“Our journey towards a Digital Lagos propelled by the Creative Economy is backed by robust figures and data. It is a collective endeavor that requires the synergy of government, industry, academia, and civil society. Together, we will build a future where innovation knows no bounds, where creativity flourishes, and where the digital heartbeat of Lagos resonates across the globe.

“I trust that the discussions initiated at this conference, along with the resulting outcomes, will pave the way for a threefold increase in the value of the creative ecosystem. May this gathering serve as a guiding beacon, directing us toward a future where the convergence of technology and creativity collaboratively shapes a brighter tomorrow for the residents of Lagos State.”

On his part, Dr. Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, promised that the Federal Government will collaborate with the Lagos State Government to boost the creative sector using technology for a digital Lagos, that will benefit youths in the state.

Tijani, who noted that President Bola Tinubu’s administration has invested in the digital economy to create more employment, implored the Lagos State Government to convert open fields used for football across the state, into a smart field that would be well equipped for public exercises and gymnastics to engage the youths positively.

According to him, “The creation of a smart Lagos is not just a sole responsibility of government, but the duty of the citizens as well to ensure a creative economy in a digital Lagos because the rest of Nigeria is looking up to Lagos State for direction.”

Speaking on the theme “Ecosystem-driven Innovation: Transforming the Creative Economy of Africa”, the first keynote speaker, Kunle Afolayan, Actor, Film Maker, and Entrepreneur noted that “To leaverage technology and digital platforms for creative entrepreneurship means using digital tools to turn creative ideas into successful businesses.

“Technology opens up new oppourtunities and makes it easy to connect with people who appreciate your creativity.

“Creating a conducive ecosystem for innovation requires a culture of open communication, embrace diverse perspective, empower individuals to experiment, make decisions and celebrate successful ideas as well as foster an environment where custody and learning are valued.” He added.

Speaking earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Olatubosun Alake, Lagos State Commissioner for Innovation, Science and Technology, emphasised that the creative economy is a force that transcends industries, driving innovation, and contributing to economic growth.

He said some of the objectives of the AOT Lagos 5.0 is to proffer solutions to the challenges in the tech world, which included combating piracy and enhancing information sharing for a digital Lagos.

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