The new world order is called Technology. Without rethinking governance for e-Government, freedom to life and to innovate may become just an illusion! How does Government and life proceed after the lockdown? Will it ever be the same again?
No, it will not. Remember the impact of post 9/11 on the Aviation Ecosystem and the global security system in general? While the mourning of the dead continues, families and children without fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, friends/ loved ones; the sense of their loss should further empower us to collectively live a better world for Generations Next.
E-government should be viewed and understood as all-encompassing and inevitable pully to lift-up humanity and heal the colossal wound; now being left behind by the COVID-19 pandemic. The panacea is activation and deployment of e-Government. This strategy and associated solutions should now be adopted as compulsory life assurance pillars for resolving the visible traumas of the locked down generation – going forward.
Further; at a time like this, that their up-bringing; as well as education lifecycles have been hijacked and employment opportunities diminished with poisonous fangs. They see their world miraculously transformed into disillusion with multiplier effects; as governments excruciatingly coast deeper into the oceans of trial and error, without leadership binoculars! Hope has become uncertain, with signs of vanishing economic returns.
Indeed, our youth have become the endangered species as nations navigate through the swampy terrain in anticipation and search of the recovery formula. The good news is that, this great challenge presents our youth with the dreamers ‘instrumentation’; one with which to recondition the gravity of their emotional intelligence and reset the mind to innovate; disrupt the old world to usher in the freshness of life.
Accelerating post Covid-19 disaster recovery in Nigeria/Africa and the world will dominantly depend on the deployment; as well as strategic diffusion of e-Government solutions as the most critical intervention mechanism. Whatever can be digitized would/should/must be digitized. The goal is achievable with the extraordinary ‘Can-do-ism’ mindset of ‘Nigeria/Africa! This task will embrace and cover extensive development terrain, ranging from Moon-shot vision, Population, Infrastructure, Leadership trustworthiness; to Government political will, dependable and independent Judicial system, constructive Education, Healthcare, Meritocracy; from Agriculture-to-Manufacturing, Supply Chain, to Culture, the way we work and engage business collaboration etc.
Meanwhile, Lessons learned from digital evolution and transformation agenda suggest that the youth are the engine-room of the anticipated recovery. Regrettably, they currently represent the highest collateral damages and recurring traumas of the global Covid-19 pandemic disaster.
One thing is clear: – individual recovery strategies will not cut it, and not sustainable! Collaborative Teamwork will. Going forward post COVID-19 pandemic without rethinking the critical state of Data will make Government decision further derail the economy into under-development overdrive. Also, it will intensify vulnerability at all levels – especially at Science, Technology, Innovation, Productivity, Healthcare and Healthcare delivery value chains.
Apart from diminishing and/or wiping out existing recovery gains, it will elongate the duration of disaster recovery by many years. It may also intensify the scale of national crisis. The above can further upgrade the porosity of National Security and seriously threaten the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Welcome to the machine society.
Governments that still hold the notion that leadership can and will continue with the analogue mode of business as usual; are grossly mistaken. According to UNESCO, the closure of educational institutions in 188 countries all over the world represents a monumental challenge. Life will never be exactly the same as yesterday, neither will governance. Today, the word ‘Covid-19’ (within the shortest measured time) has eminently qualified as perhaps the most travelled ‘word variable (short-code); in the arsenal of human history, thanks to ICT information systems and related Ecosystem of Mankind!
More than ever before, words matter, but facts and figures matter most.
Covid-19 arrived uninvited and within a blink of an eye; it has permeated every nook and cranny of the planet Earth – throwing every government asunder. What a shot! Indeed, not an ordinary shocking shot but delivered with great intensity and tenacity of an unforgettable lesson. ‘That Technology is the ultimate survival life-jack for sustainable human development’.
Imagine what would have happened to humanity with the flushing killer-speed of Covid-19; without the power and critical intervention of Information and Communications Technology Ecosystem? We now live in a world where Data never sleeps! There are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day. But at our speed of thought, Covid-19 Data has generated a quantum leap in the volume of data created over the last 120 days in the world.
There is perhaps no part of the world left unvisited and untouched by the Covid-19 pandemic; ravaging many million humans on its pathway. Not only that, the spectacular narratives of the Covid-19 strike were further spurred by the graphic effects and animation potential; wrapped and magnified into all-in-one storyline. All these have fuelled fireballs of information overload, fake news, addictions, panic and confusions. The inferno continues to race on, destroying everything on its path – from 5G to enforced political economy – begetting deglobalization.
Metaphorically, Covid-19 is an amazing code – it has no conscience! As I put pen to paper, Covid-19 pandemic has infected over 6.1million people; leaving many thousand dead within the mind-blowing stampede atmosphere and fear to survive. Therein resides our ‘ignorance of the unknown’!
The flip side is that the rivers of embedded conspiracies, both oral and textual, have somersaulted millions of responsible; cerebral thinking boxes into a deep-state hole of misinformation concoctions, with the potency for addiction! These oceans of unverified, unanalysed, and non-authenticated data and information have greatly constituted into heaps of information addictions worldwide.
Governments were caught in an oral catch-22 game! The scenario has advanced from comic, to fears and confusion: Government against Science, Politicians against Economists, Pastors and Imams; praying for all in empty Churches/Mosques, Markets shut down, people locked down and children lost in thoughts; of not being able to go to school and play with friends and technologies takeover of peoples’ life; mainly through Face-to Face virtual contact while the common man was left to hunger, innovate and/or die! Sometimes they must defy regulations in order to survive from hunger and death.
The most distinct revelation is that as we approach the new normal; no Government in the face of the earth can continue to exist and succeed with analogue snail-speed business-as-usual mentality; without faithfully converting and digitally migrating to e-Government model of strategic leadership and governance.
Bearing in mind that the post Covid-19 recovery may take another two-three years; Nations who fail to digitally transform to e-Government leadership and Economic-Intelligence Systems will bear the brunt of inability to economically recover in the next five years! Today, the advent of the knowledge economy has created a paradigm shift in addressing the fundamental functions; operations and benefits of Government and Corporate Enterprises for accelerated and sustainable development. Quick access to relevant and quality database and knowledge information systems have become not only a strategic imperative; but also an economic backbone for success in governance.
This model of applying operational dynamics of multi-disciplinary economics promotes trustworthiness, yields continuous improvement and sustainability of applied vision. In the emerging post Covid-19 economy, to achieve productive development decisions; Government requires and needs quality information codified by expert dispatch. Whether you are a government policy maker, adviser, business economics analyst or management executive; you need to think digital. BI allows the users to access, analyse and share internal strategic data for superior government decision-making; as well as for the benefit of the citizenry – especially people with disability, business entities and stakeholders.
The basic philosophy of e-Government embraces the key issues of adopting fundamentally novel modelling of inclusiveness participation of citizens. Also, it encourages the examination of direct democracy issues provided by the possibilities of new media. The basic implications are illustrated by numerous examples such as “rights and freedom to vote, delegate, watch” or “e-Petitions”.
Similarly; In the information ecologies of today, it is commonly recognized that the ecosystem consists of diverse actors. If we recognise the core development-drivers for Nigeria of the 21st century economic order as science, technology and innovation; the momentum will create Data Scientists, Magical Software Developers, New Mindset-Companies, government officials, especially digital policy makers; IT professionals, Diplomats, Bankers and other interest Groups to interact and chart a new direction. A key strategy in achieving the above is to connect the disconnected links between Government-Academia-and-Industry.
Knowledge-Based Leadership at the Speed of Thought: “Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time.” — Bill Gates. Also, according to David Landes (1998): Today, 21st Century governance requires a time-driven robust architecture of electronic-government master plan comprised of multi-tier IP-Network infrastructure, high-skilled manpower capacity, content storage, control and intelligent agents which are necessary to resolve the complex challenges of crisis-prone citizen needs for efficient and effective solutions as strategic contributions to National and State productivity, development and security.
In reflections to the above, few questions arise that require urgent solutions.
Why is it compulsory to pursue e-government? Do we have a clear vision and time-bound priorities for e-government deployment? Indeed; what type of e-government applications are we ready to deploy? Can we just digitize faulty and non-functional government programme and move on? Is there enough political will to lead the e-government effort as panacea for lifting over 500 million people in Africa out of poverty?; How will we collectively overcome resistance from/within government insiders in order to accelerate the enthronement of the diffusion of e-Government strategies and solutions? And how will we reliably measure and communicate national development progress without e-Government? How will we know if we are stalling, failing, and heading for disaster?
I am sure my esteemed readers and all stakeholders have most of the answers to the above.
Data is your life. Hold on to it. Demand effective, trustworthy, productive, and equitable governance. Vote for compulsory e-Government implementation in Africa. Do it for the upliftment of your family, the girl-child heading to penury, all the people with disability, country; the Youth, generation next and and also humanity.
In short, E-Government is the key to unlock the potential of the locked down generation. Without compulsory e-Government leadership processes, development becomes a mirage and indeed a shameful 21st century sin!