AfICTA calls for tax holidays to tech startups

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(Last Updated On: 2016-10-16)

The Chairman of the Africa Information and Communication Technology Alliance (AfICTA), Dr Jimson Olufuye has urged African governments to as a matter of priority, create conducive environment for youths to start their businesses by way of providing extended tax holidays.

Olufuye who made the remarks at the just concluded 2016 edition of  AfICTA summit held in Windhoek, Namibia, told the gathering that the legacy African leaders should leave afterwards is job creation for the young Africans.

That is the sure way for prosperity, Olufuye who also is the Chief Executive Officer of Konsulting Kontemporary told the international audience comprising of African ICT Ministers and heads of IT agencies.

Creation of enabling environment to the tech startups, according to Olufuye, could be achieved by  providing toolkits for would be start-ups, providing extended tax breaks,  providing financing tied to different categories of contract works and deliverables, affirmative action on bids for different categories of firms and removal of visa restriction for Africans especially ICT business people to enhance investment and trade.

He noted that business thrives  when there is free movement of  people, regretting that more than 50 participants for the summit could not attend because of visa challenges.

Welcoming delegates and while declaring the summit open, the host Minister of ICT Hon Tjekero Tweya charged all delegates to ensure that they communicate necessary information with available technology for ICT to be meaningful and impactful to the well-being all citizens.

He lamented that in most cases, while the technology is available those that have the necessary information for prosperity refused to communicate it to those that really need them

He thanked AfICTA for convening the Summit in Windhoek, Namibia and hoped the synergy for sustainable development which the Summit brings will be sustained in Namibia and across Africa.

“I believe all these purposeful initiatives are designed for Africa’s optimal participation and benefits provided we do our part through effective policy adoption, adaptation, articulation, implementation and benefit realization.

“ Our gathering today is another effort to focus and prepare to take full advantage of Internet of Things within the framework of Sustainable Development”, the former President of Information Technology Association of Nigeria, ITAN, told the capacity audience.

He indicated that the IoT phenomenon would help create jobs for the teeming youth population provided African countries adequately prepare for it.

Quoting Morgan Stanley projection  that within the next five years, as many as 75 billion smart connected devices will be communicating with one another via IoT, he said with optimism that the  phenomenon would  help advance and sustain Africa’s development in the areas of health service delivery, e-government, e-commerce, job creation, e-agriculture among others.

“With the IGF extended for another 10years and the recently concluded IGF retreat in New York, I’m optimistic that there would be better understanding of how we can collectively address the menace of cyber-crime with emphasis on on-line child abuse, identity theft, cyber-squatting, phishing, among others.

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“I believe it is by all stakeholders coming together that we can collectively address the menace capable of undermining the huge benefits of the Internet for the Information society of our dream – an African society of well informed and prosperous people with unleashed talents adding value to humanity’s collective destiny in an atmosphere of peace, tolerance and opportunities”, Olufuye explained.

For one thing, the summit with the theme “Internet of Things for Sustainable Development”,   captured the milestone strategic changes in the world, culminated in the agreement by world leaders last year for the 17 sustainable development goals to be realized by the year 2030.

It also ushered in the World Summit on the Information Society,  WSIS, WSIS 10-year review outcome document with another 10-year mandate for the Internet Governance Forum and the re-start of the work of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation.

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