Enhancing Digital Capabilities in a Post-COVID World

"Why are digital capabilities critical at a national and global level?"

The ongoing pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of digital capabilities. These amount to digital infrastructure (high-speed broadband connectivity, cybersecurity), digital content, services, and skills for business continuity and online service delivery, as well as robust, coordinated l... view more


Introduction by Samia Melhem, Global Lead, Digital Capabilities, World Bank


What can Governments do to strengthen their digital capabilities? by Anupam Govil, Principal, Avasant​, USA


Building Private sector’s digital capabilities. by Dr. Nader Imani, EVP, Festo Didactic, Germany


Applying Digital Capabilities for growth and development in Kaduna State. by Mohammad Sani Abdullahi, Chief of Staff, Kaduna State, Nigeria


Country action plans for Digital skills for Digital Economy, Africa. by Sajitha Bashir, Advisor, Education, World Bank

About the Presenters

Samia Melhem

Global Lead, Digital Capabilities, World Bank

Samia Melhem (World Bank) is the Global Lead on Digital Capabilities at the Digital Development Global Practice. She focused her international development career on investments in digital skills, digital government, telecom infrastructure, innovation & entrepreneurship. Samia worked as a task team leader and regional coordinator for Africa, MNA, EAP, IFC, ECA and ITS. She authored several publications while pioneering research on gender inclusion in the digital economy. She holds degrees in Electrical Engineering (BS), Computer Sciences (MS), and Finance (MBA).

Anupam Govil

Principal, Avasant, USA

Anupam Govil leads Avasant’s Digital Transformation and Global Development practice, advising leading Global 1000 enterprises, governments, and emerging regions. He is also the head of Strategic Partnerships and Marketing, chairing several industry conferences such as Digital Convergence, Automation Innovation Summit, and Empowering Beyond summits. Anupam has over 25 years of experience in digital development. He has advised global institutions such as the UN, World Bank, IDB, USAID, and over 40 countries on ICT focused economic development and investment promotion. Anupam has been consistently ranked amongst Top 30 Industry Executives by Nearshore Americas.

Dr. Nader Imani

EVP, Festo Didactic, Germany

Mr. Imani holds a PhD. in Mechanical Engineering from the Ecole Centrale des Nantes, France in 1991, and has attended several management education programs, among others in St. Galen Management University Switzerland in 2001 and Harvard Business School, USA in 2006. During his professional career, Mr. Imani has held several managerial positions from regional and international sales, through strategic business development, to executive management of legal entities in North America. Mr. Imani currently holds the position as Executive Vice President of Global Education, steering global B2G education projects in TVET and Academia addressing socio-economic challenges.

Muhammad Sani Abdullahi

Chief of Staff, Kaduna State, Nigeria

With over a decade of experience in development policy formulation, public finance, and project implementation, Muhammad is the current Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kaduna State (population 10 million). In this position, he leads support to the Governor in designing, coordinating, and implementing government policy in all sectors. In addition, he chairs the Infrastructure Council of the State which coordinates the portfolio of all economic and social infrastructure across the 23 Local Governments of Kaduna State. In June 2018, he was appointed a Member of the World Bank Global Expert Advisory Council on Citizen Engagement, a position he holds concurrently. He was from 2015-2019 the Commissioner for Budget and Planning in Kaduna State where he led on the States broad economic growth and development portfolio. Prior to this, Muhammad was a Policy Advisor in the Executive Office of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in New York and a member of the Secretary General’s core team that designed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sajitha Bashir

Advisor, Education, World Bank

Sajitha Bashir is an Advisor in the Office of the Global Director, Education Practice, and former Education Practice Manager for Eastern and Southern Africa, where she developed and oversaw a large portfolio of education projects from early childhood education to tertiary education and research.  She currently leads the work on Digital Skills and on science and technology in the Education Practice.