Atlanta-based technology engineering firm, Tido Technology International, has signed an agreement with the government of Nigeria to develop a secure and efficient infrastructure for e-commerce in the country over the next five years.

The company will lead a group of U.S.- and Africa-based e-commerce and information technology firms, known as the Organization for Business Enterprises, in a venture that will set-up six e-commerce resource centers in the region, with a hub in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.

Spearheading the initiative is native Nigerian and CEO of Tido Technology, Olu Olatidoye.  Also a professor of engineering and director of the Atlanta E-Commerce Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University, he views Nigeria, with its population of more than 120 million people, as ripe for the development of information and communication technology.

Dr. Olatidoye has been working on the project for more than seven years, including meetings with Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, when he visited Atlanta two years ago. He was also part of a U.S. business delegation to Nigeria during President Clinton’s visit to the country in 2000.

“Today, e-commerce in Nigeria is in its infancy, which is a disadvantage for business and government competitiveness in the global marketplace,” he said.  “(This e-commerce initiative) is a major step for the country’s sovereignty in the world of information technology.”

Modeled on existing centers in the U.S., including facilities at Clark Atlanta University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University, the Nigerian branches will offer education and research to businesses in African markets seeking to incorporate an e-commerce strategy into their business plan. 

As a result of this particular initiative, opportunities may exist for U.S. service providers to establish the network of high-speed connectivity necessary for e-commerce transactions, noted Dr. Olatidoye.