Nigeria: Encoding the digital future – Chris Uwaje
The future of what? Today, the future is simultaneously perceived in Nigeria and elsewhere as the Tech-of-Things (ToT). And true to type, from time immemorial, since the advent of fire to ignite and illuminate human memory; technology was baptized as the inevitable and resounding future!
However, searching for the future further invites us to encode the past and better understand the trajectory of the origin of man and future adventures.
If you think you already have a glimpse of the future, – Think Again! And again. These thought processes harbor and encapsulate our collective abilities to anticipate the big-dream-architecture of a digital future.
One of such ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ dream architecture is the “Declaration of Nigeria National Digital Day’ (NNDD); championed by Dr. Leo Stan Ekeh of ZINOX Group, and dynamically promoted and powered by Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami; the Hon. Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
It has always been acknowledged that the taste of the pudding is in the mouth; just as justification of a working and progressive economic system is conveyed by testimonial statistics.
According to macrotrend.net, Nigeria’s GDP for 2019 was $448.12B, a 12.55% increase from 2018. In 2018, it was $398.16B, a 5.97% increase from 2017. The current birth rate for Nigeria in 2020 is 37.269 births per 1000 people, a 1.1% decline from 2019. The birth rate for Nigeria in 2019 was 37.684 births per 1000 people, a 1.09% decline from 2018. On Health, Nigeria’s healthcare spending for 2017 was $74, a 6.85% decline from 2016; while the healthcare spending for 2016 was $79, a 18.83% decline from 2015.
Similar trends of intermittent spending are also noticeable in Education, Infrastructure, Research & Development etc. However, the significance of the numbers above, is that they occurred mostly with critical science and technology deficit.
Therefore, the smart reasoning suggests that with the structured infusion of a great coefficient of Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) in our digital transformation processes; Nigerian can and should exponentially catapult her development framework – from the current analogue and muscle-intensive model of work to constructive and resilient digital wealth creation ecosystem.
The NNDD Project is estimated to energize, reform, accelerate, magnify and transform – not only the National Economic Landscape; but our existential Ecosystem of Education, Government, Governance, Health, and the theory-of-everything worth living for. It is a mission-critical idea worth living and dying for. And for those who can see tomorrow today, NNDD is the kernel of our survivability.
To anticipate the inalienable possibilities and opportunities, NNDD has the capability to flip Nigeria’s tomorrow into a tech-Eldorado worth quantum trillions in global digital currency and deliver a national GDP of $10,000 per capita in 2025. Going forward, this assumption may, indeed translate to an unforeseen understatement; informed by her capabilities to dream, and attain the promises of the immediate digital future.
Understandably, the complexities inherent in defining the Future-of-Things are as cloudy and illuminative as the innocent sky preparing for unpredictable rain! Where, what, and how will your/our nation’s future be in 2023, 2027 and 2031 – ultimately leading us to 2050; when the nation scores 400million or above in estimated national population?
Critical numbers are vision-bearers for critical moments. The future is the nano-milliseconds to perception. But it cannot be seen and appreciated in the practical sense of the word.
That is how close our technology-driven future is and compels us to encode it to erupt innovation crystals and disperse its multilayered opportunities, promises and benefits to our youth and children.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world; with an estimated 206 million inhabitants as of late 2019. It has the third-largest youth population in the world, after India and China; with nearly half its population under the age of eighteen.
Nigeria’s economy is the largest in Africa and the 24th largest in the world, worth almost $450 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity, respectively. Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”, owing to its large population and economy. Further, it is also considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank. She has been identified as a regional power on the African continent, a middle power in international affairs. Also, she has been identified as an emerging global power.
However, it still remains worrisome that her economy is classified as a lower middle-income economy;with a gross national income per capita between $1,026 and $3,986. (wik modifiedi) One of the lowest GDP per capita on the continent; but miraculously one of the highest global product consumer nations in the world.
Encoding the digital future which in subjective layers of thoughts can be perceived as planning a journey from point ‘A’ to arrive point ‘B’ destination and, to advance the tech-adventure into many other curves and layers can be challenging. But who says we cannot meander our thought processes to encode and re-imagine the destination before its emergence and arrival at the probability of destiny? Indeed, our future is now, and tomorrow is here.
Why is it necessary and important to apply NNDD as a fundamental instrument to encode Nigeria’s and by extension; Africa’s digital future? Many reasons appease future thinking. One essential variable is “WORK” – a fundamental attribute to human existence and life variables. This brings us to the essence of encoding the future-of-work (FoW) – whose microsome is journeying into the future; – beyond the comprehension of AI?
However, some also find it appropriate to believe that we can and should also explore the theory of a future of journeying back into the past – similar to the Time-Travel project, since all human activities are assumed to be programmed and stored in her memory space? One dimension is crystal clear: the shape of FoW would be determined by human beings; shaped by complex emotions, interests, analogies, value-chain expectations wrapped in multiple unpredictable directions – waiting to burst into action.
Now, let us travel back to work and further interrogate the future-of-work as advanced by technology in the digital space; since work had always been the central activity in the life of humans? Now, what types of work do we anticipate in our collective future? One thing is undeniable. Work would be dependent on the emotional intelligence to anticipate, re-imagine, create and disrupt the anticipated future.
This assumption is derived from the inclusiveness of obeying and maintaining its gravitational pull of the limitless of thoughts; through the confines of the Planet Earth, to the Moon, Mars and beyond. If FoW is infinite, so is future skills (FS), many of which are still on the fire; cooking and metamorphosing in our mind and physical laboratories.
When we probe further, our thoughts on types of future works with demands intensive and dense skill-sets will be centrally driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) – especially its emotional research components to birth the ultimate machine society.
Many valuable research works and white papers seem to agree on the demography of the anticipated future of work. Some are clearer and much more distinct than others.
Because humanity and her baggage of population surge, has intensified technology advancement, adoption and rapid information production; quantum of Data has accumulated at the digital-speed-of-thought; which requires the abilities to ventilate its core values and make sense out of it. Therefore, to fully interrogate and decode the accumulation of humanity Big Data, Skilled Data Scientists would be needed to dismantle the beehive of big Data and reorganize them with structured and acceptable standard and values for the advancing future society. But this and many others should be left for another day and space.
So, If you think you already have a glimpse of the future, – Think Again! And again. These thought processes harbor and encapsulate our collective abilities to anticipate the big-dream architecture of a digital future. One such ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ dream architecture is the “Declaration of Nigeria National Digital Day’ (NNDD).
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