Every child deserves a smartphone – Dr. B.B. Usman

Every child deserves a smartphone –  Dr. B.B. Usman

Nine minutes, 29 Seconds captured by a 9-year-old baby-girl with a smartphone that changed the world!



In our world of ‘9299’, the magic number is 9! Judeah Reynolds, the young girl who witnessed George Floyd’s death was nine years old in 2020 when she delivered the magical video shot with her smartphone that “changed the world”. Now, how does a smartphone land into the hands of a brave nine-year-old young girl?



The answer is simple: ‘e-Commerce’. E-commerce did it. The world is mobile. Inquisitive minds of the younger generations understand the digital world and life-critical momentum much better. Therefore, it has become mandatory, and indeed, awesome-smart to equip our youth with smartphones and laptops.



If we could re-write history, the world would perhaps, have preferred to rename George Floyd from the Big Heart to – “Judeah Reynolds Smart-Heart Phone”! With a smartphone, a nine-year old girl changed the world of justice – forever. Judeah made history with an extraordinary justice: Count 1– Guilty, Count 2 – Guilty and Count 3 – Guilty. Aided by technology, to digitally process her emotions Judeah transformed ‘I can’t breathe’ to ‘I am proud, we won’.



Today, our world has become super-mobile with many billion stories that detonated change. Therefore, every child in Nigeria, Africa and the world deserves a smartphone – going forward. If this happens, e-Commerce will positively explode beyond our collective imagination. The alerting disclosure of the George Floyd saga reveals the capability of the digital transformation and ability of e-Commerce to disentomb buried injustice for the world to see and appreciate the spirit of humanity through the power and passion of a mobile phone.


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This phenomenal change would not only accelerate the manufacture and distribution of digital devices; such as the smartphone, but would also spur innovation; create more jobs through e-Commerce and enable justice to be timely served worldwide. Excavating justice as a catalyst of change currently challenges the reawakening of our lost humanity. Black lives matter – all lives matter always. Every 24 months, the world adds about one billion smartphones from the production lines. Currently, there are over five billion smartphones in the world and growing. Thanks to e-Commerce that has become a critical pillar for accelerated global development and digital transformation.



E-commerce has also become indispensable for our education process, governance, national security, accelerated agriculture, food chain consumption; family and environmental development, our health and our entire life, etc. They all constitute an integral part of economic development and the security of life and property.


Today, all those cornerstones are anchored on our e-Commerce ecosystem. But let us pause a moment, close our inner eyes and guess how long it will take the analogue market models in Africa to be digitally packaged and transformed? One decade. Five decades, 10 decades etc.? Your guess may still be off mark! However, with technology as our core vision-bearer, Nigeria may accomplish the unimaginable.



Every child deserves a smartphone - Dr. B.B. Usman


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Fact finding analysis vehemently reveals that the real power behind the exposure of the George Floyd saga is the e-Commerce value chain – from manufacturing to distribution logistics, to the last mile and support services. After all, e-Commerce is the mind of moving machines that breathe life into world economies and leverage sustainable development; with incremental values for wealth creation, justice, and national security. The e-Commerce ecosystem includes the electronic shopping and mail order industry; logistics and warehousing industry – making it the largest economic manufacturing, service support and employment environment in the world today. For example, Amazon claims that of the one million small businesses on its platform has created over 900,000 jobs in the digital and related spaces.


Similarly, the Konga e-Commerce platform in Nigeria and across Africa has created and still amplifying the provision of large employment opportunities for the continent’s economic growth. According to Forbes, with e-commerce having the potential to create three million new jobs in Africa by 2025; the World Economic Forum has outlined an action plan to build this new form of commerce.


The WEF in its ‘Davos of Africa event in Cape Town announced its Africa e-Commerce Agenda; which anticipates to help realise the benefits of e-commerce. This, amongst others, validates the call for a post COVID-19 pandemic bailout fund for the e-Commerce industry and particularly tech-centric players like Konga and others, as support engine for accelerated employment and digital economy development.


Reliable records show that Alibaba’s annual revenue for 2020 was $71.985b, a 28.2% increase from 2019. Annual revenue for 2019 was $56.152b, a 40.74% increase from 2018. Alibaba annual revenue for 2018 was $39.898b, a 73.51% increase from 2017. New studies projected that the worldwide retail e-Commerce sales will reach a new high by 2021.


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This is predicated on a 265% growth rate, from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.9 trillion in 2021. This shows a future of steady upward trend with no signs of decline. No surprise therefore that e-Commerce will account for 17.5% of the total global retail sales in 2021!  This presents a monumental opportunity for Nigeria and the Africa continent.


Meanwhile, the education sector has taken the worst hit and there is need to leverage e-Commerce as recovery strategies to rebuild our knowledge wealth. The smartphone revolution shows that Nigeria may require 40 million laptops, 20 million smartphones, uninterrupted power supply, innovative indigenous content; as well as welfare support palliatives to mitigate the monumental social trauma now observed in our post COVID-19 life. Lessons learned from COVID-19 teaches us that we must make Information Technology the epicentre of our digital transformation and post COVID-19 recovery agenda. This will be the minimum requirement to retool our society for e-Readiness and disaster recovery from the pandemic.


Failure to do this will be too big a price to pay for our nation. The negative power of trauma and its ability to displace and destroy society’s development gains has existed for a long time as demonstrated by reliable studies. The pandemic has indeed accumulated invisible mountains of social vulnerabilities and psychological trauma in our nation.


To proper situate the conversation, it is emphatic to ask if the COVID-19 has changed the class struggle, economy, the redistribution; performance of governance, power and leadership? By extension, has it influenced equity in our judicial institutions, distribution of national resources and creation of wealth? Also, can we foresee an incremental proportion of social trauma as a significant delay-agent in our post COVID-19 recovery strategy? The adverse effects therefrom will negatively affect the performance of e-Commerce and world trade.



Every child deserves a smartphone - Dr. B.B. Usman


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So, what is the role of Information Technology and in particular, e-Commerce in alleviating the incidences from above circumstances? One thing remains crystal clear: ICT is at the centre of the required recovery solutions. And, if we do not empower e-Commerce to equalize lost jobs and create new ones, social trauma will escalate!


In his book ‘Trauma: A Social Theory’; Jeffrey C. Alexander developed an original social theory of trauma. Thereafter, he used it to carry out a series of empirical investigations into social suffering around the globe. Alexander argued that traumas are not merely psychological but collective experiences. Further, he submitted that trauma plays a key role in defining the origins and outcomes of critical social conflicts.


Currently, existing evidence shows that there are more economic disillusions and uncertainties about future expectations for many families; corporate businesses, and leaderships in government. These disruptions have set in, not only in governance and the judicial institution, but in many layers of the entire society.


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The noticeable idle minds can be energized by invigorating the e-Commerce ecosystem through strategic bailout. Government institutions may be seriously overwhelmed on how to strategically respond and ensure productive processes, adjudicate justice; deliver equitable solutions and national security; especially now, when the existing analogue systems are ill-prepared for e-Government, while poverty ferociously reflects in our faces.


How best can we respond to the desperation of about 50mmillion Nigerians sliding down the penury pit? This is where the e-Commerce factor in Information Technology ecosystem comes to the rescue. Lessons from COVID-19 pandemic teaches us that there is an active and productive virtual world out there. Information Technology is the cement that delivers justice and happiness to our lives, homes, children, and friends. It ameliorates and heals the traumatic incidents, brings smiles into our homes, as well as secures our digital future.


It is noteworthy to ascribe to the notion that the next phase of e-Commerce points to outer space travels where e-Commerce will play a formidable role of bringing smiles and memories of the planet Earth – including food to the citizens of Mars and beyond.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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