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 other stakeholders in December 2022 in Victoria Island, Lagos. The event, tagged ‘Sip and Tech’, provided the opportunity for networking, bonding, and discussing ESG leadership for technology and telecom companies.
Among those who attended Sip and Tech 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, Ethica 360 and CSR-in-Action, the secretariat for TTSWG.
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.”
The event afforded the TTSWG Secretariat to provide an update on the activities of the group through the year 2022. Highlights include the release of two publications – Tech for Good Initiatives in Nigeria, and Equitable Access to Assistive Technology in Nigeria, both available on TTSWG.org. The group also hosted three webinars, including one on ‘Wellbeing as a Hallmark of Sustainability in Tech’ and plans several for 2023. Included in its 2023 program is an internship initiative that would help matchmake undergraduates with telecommunication and technology companies. The group announced that it has already executed MOUs with Covenant University, Kings University, and the University of Maiduguri in this regard.
Policy discussions of the evening included 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 and inclusive in its approach. Members of the group also urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to harmonise policies governing the sector and channel them toward enabling sustainability.
President, CSR-in-Action, 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.”