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TTSWG Hosts Members, and Stakeholders at Annual Parley

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‘Harmonise Policies to Promote Sustainability’, Tech and Telecommunications Stakeholders Urge Federal Government

Lagos, Nigeria. The Telecommunication and Technology Sustainability Working Group (TTSWG), a consortium of key stakeholders and professionals synergising to promote sustainability in the sector, had an annual end-of-year meeting for its members and stakeholders in December 2022 in Victoria Island, Lagos. The event, tagged ‘Sip and Tech’, provided ample opportunity for stakeholders to meet, bond, and discuss ESG leadership for tech and telecom companies, in a comfortable ambiance.

Among those who attended the Sip and Tech event were professionals from Hewlett Packard (HP) Inc., 9mobile, MTN, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Amazon Web Services Nigeria Limited, Quomodo Systems Limited, IHS Towers, Zenera Consulting, and CSR-in-Action, the secretariat for TTSWG.

During the event, representatives of the TTSWG Secretariat gave an update on the activities of the group through the year 2022, which include the release of two publications – Tech for Good Initiatives in Nigeria, and Equitable Access to Assistive Technology in Nigeria, both available on the website, and hosting three webinars, including one on ‘Wellbeing as a Hallmark of Sustainability in Tech’. The secretariat also shared with members its plans for 2023, including an internship initiative that would help matchmake undergraduates with telecommunication and technology companies to provide them with internship opportunities, and indicated some partner universities it has MOUs with, such as Covenant University, Kings University, and University of Maiduguri.

Members of the group discussed what sustainability means to them and their organisation as well as their sustainability journey. Speaking on sustainability within the sector, Mr. Edward Fagbohun, Manager, Sustainability and Impact Reporting, MTN Foundation, remarked, “Africa is the next hub for ICT innovations and Nigeria is the frontrunner in that regard. Being sustainability-focused helps us as individuals in the industry to focus on the three pillars of Sustainability – People, Planet, and Profit and ethically do business.”

Some common challenges were discussed including the need for policies governing the sector to be harmonized by the federal government and channeled toward enabling sustainability. Other highlights of the conversation include the need to bridge the gap between generations and get more young people involved in driving sustainability, and the need for Nigeria’s ICT sector to be innovative in its approach to sustenance.

President, CSR-in-Action, the leading sustainability consultancy and advocacy firm, and Lead Consultant for TTSWG, Bekeme Olowola stated that it is important that priorities as a sector are where they should be. “We need to be proactive on the matter of sustainability as an industry. The technology and the telecommunications industry might not be the first on people’s minds when they think of sustainability but we know that although the negative effect of our activities as an industry might not be conspicuous, they exist and they require attention before they become a matter of emergency.”

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