Nigeria: Decolonizing technology through core competence – Chris Uwaje

Nigeria: Decolonizing technology through core competence – Chris Uwaje


Today, we live in a Data-First world – better known as a Software-First world. Nigeria is arguably recognised as the leading and lightening rod for Africa’s rationale and sustainable development.


Regrettably, Nigeria lags visibly behind in the critical levels of mastery of Software-of-Things. It is therefore the time to humanize African knowledge as we advance into the sudden concentration of digital transformation.


In clear terms, it is time to decolonize our information system with the emergence of Quantum Computing; AI, IoT, Big Data, AR, VR, Machine Learning, Blockchain, IPv6, Nanotechnology, Robotics and many more algorithm-propelled digital future. The history of nature proverbially interpreted through an African historical record, informs that: “You cannot dance – perpetually standing in a stop.  Constructive movement is required and essential for effective development”.


This adage is reflective of technology development on planet Earth. It is about knowledge-driven constant movement – enabled by research centric motivation to innovate. Therein lies the key to identify core-competence/s to succeed.



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The trajectory for constant knowledge movement to navigate and arrive at that digital future is to concentrate on the knowledge core-competence of Nigeria and Africa in technology. Failure to do this may submerge African history, IP and heritage and perhaps loss of Father’s Land forever! Despite the distinguished contributions of Africa to science and technology; most of her prominent achievement have not only been hidden over many centuries but left to decompose.



But why?


Perhaps, the need now arises – beyond the call of duty – to decolonize technology through the deployment of core-competence strategies. Africa and Nigeria must reinvent her deep-thinking DNA.


This matter becomes a fundamental concern when we explore the domain of emerging digital phenomenon and paradoxes of AI-powered Deepfakes. In reflection of the above, Nigeria/Africa has a multi-dimensional digital challenge to engage and conquer. The most critical of these challenges are: Digital Information Warfare and Digital Economic Warfare.



Nigeria: Decolonizing technology through core competence - Chris Uwaje



The core elements to manage, control and master the above first-class challenges is to leverage on Deep-Data and Software Skills as the critical and core technology competences as the priority in our digital transformation playbook. The strategic occupation of the Nigerian/African digital development mind should mandatorily be software-centric. How do we get there?



The options are there for us to choose: Swim or Sink! The software core competence swim presents digital survivability assurance. On the other hand, we may sink in the digital ocean without a live jacket; nor any external help to rescue our unforgiving digital transformation development mistake/s.



Based on relevant data, the history of science and technology in Africa has, received relatively little attention; especially when compared to other regions of the world. This is, despite her notable African achievements in the development of such fields as mathematics, architecture, metallurgy and many more.



Available and professionally researched records validate the fact that Africa has the world’s oldest record of human scientific and technology accomplishments in various domains. They include the oldest stone tools in the world – discovered and located in eastern Africa. For example, later evidence for tool production by our hominin ancestors (Hominid revolution) has been found across Sub-Saharan Africa.


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Today, nations are in a dilemma on how to redefine and determine their winning path to digital survivability. They are overwhelmed on how to determine the best and secure pathway to sustainable development; providing youth employment, creation of wealth and national security. This digital nightmare has escalated in structure, shape and content; leading many nations to digital ‘Jack of all trades’ and leading to digital consumerism and eventually becoming a digital colony.



The main reason propelling this dilemma is the distinctive lacuna and failure to build, promote and deploy concrete digital knowledge research foundation as strategic imperative to discover and unveil national core competence for mastering the challenges of the evolution of digital transformation.



This concept of pursuing technology core competency is not new but now required by Africa nations; specifically, as critical pathway on how to navigate and generate a competitive digital advantage. As well understood, the term core competency was coined by Dr. C.K Prahalad and Prof. Gray Hamel in 1989. The team took examples of various Japanese firms and compared them with their American counterparts.



Competence-based strategy is the part of an overall strategy that is concerned with integrating technology, know-how, including patents, value and culture. The aim is to arrive at and create a set of competencies that unfolds superior value for competitiveness.  The advantage is derived from the focus on three critical pillars:  innovation, creativity and supporting the product-market strategy.



We should think of the organization as a small seedling which, after nourishment, develops into a strong tree; with core competencies as its trunk. This core competency trunk helps in growing branches of different business value chains; navigating those chains as strategic instruments to grow products that evolve as fruit.



Please follow me into the sequel as we further explore the opportunities; windows as well as benefits of Nigeria’s core competence in the digital Software-of-Things.

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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