e-Knowledge battleground – where are we? e-Knowledge is everything now and in the future!
But does everything constitute and worthy knowledge for a 21st century nation to mastering sustainable development and survivability? Perhaps, especially for a nation with 206 million people whose digital brain-efforts can be smartly calibrated and transformed into critical sectors of wealth creation. The knowledge revolution is about intensive research, innovation, creativity, and adaptability; spurred by recognizing, promoting, incubating and rewarding innovative knowledge ventures.
Knowledge is not just acquired by observation and consumption. But by deep-thinking, designing, manufacturing, making, and practicalizing our thoughts into products and services. These amongst others represent why we need to redefine and strategically cluster Nigeria’s digitization processes into a dense value chain.
The new economy is here. The nation must admit that most traditional means of responding to the challenges of national development have now become obsolete; from political leadership structure to digital innovation delivery! Therefore, there is need to interrogate the core challenges that stare us in the face as a nation today.
How prepared are we to filter and holistically enthrone Knowledge-Nigeria at the speed of light? The recent writings on the wall occasioned by the movements of global Tech Giants (Twitter and Co) from Nigerian to neighboring countries sends a degrading message of – not yet qualified enough to host! Really? The irony is that both sides of the coin are seeing short shadows that are after all not sustainable; going by digital market equation.
On the one hand, these are times when the digital innovation ideas of young and emerging software-centric tech companies out of Nigeria have started to surf the global digital transformation ocean, with flamboyant statements of capability and global quality standard; where the same global tech community stake to harvest their intellectual properties. On the other hand, a time when the leadership fails to recognize that the post COVID-19 pandemic recovery battleground for Nigeria vehemently resides in vigorously empowering the Information and Communications Technology Ecosystem – desirous of 30% of all investments for the overall national recovery and sustainable development of the nation.
What an irony! The scenario is indeed a mismatch strategic thinking! On the long term, this nation holds the critical mass of Africa’s human resources and market. The nightmarish and worrisome variable is the mental and mind shift that may stimulate digital brain-drain migration. Meanwhile, on the cerebral balancing act, the above challenge presents a great opportunity to invest in the indigenous Tech sector massively and constructively by launching a tech innovation mission to takeover Africa via software disruption. After all, that is the long-term goal of the competitors.
The speed and passion at which data, information and images are being conceptualized, generated, contextualized, processed, transmitted, retrieved and manipulated through the application and use of Information Technology infrastructure has greatly transformed and continues to influence all known aspects of human life. These complex digital transformation processes will – without doubt, ultimately lead us to the magical arena of global knowledge Olympiad.
The flip side is that this arena of digitized knowledge power is filled with a bagful of surprises; opportunities, and risky impacts beyond our collective imagination. Decades ago, those Nigerians such as Dr. Chike Obi, Professor Awojobi (late Engineering Emeritus, and Dr. Leo Stan Nnamdi Ekeh who could see the digital-future-of-Things by sifting the analogue substance from the digital moments in the future, offered us a solution roadmap of ‘Anticipating the Future’ before it hatches. Lessons learned reveals that it is indeed not too late for a nation of 206 million people to technologically re-imagine herself. In retrospect, it is crucial to place emphasis on what the ZINOX Group accomplished within a few decades in Africa and the world; as a testimony of the can-do ability of Nigerians under the Sun. We must now, consciously engage this resourceful model as dynamic roadmap to ensure national survivability.
The roadmap to the solutions and the way forward lies in our people/heads (the real/intangible technology); not in the acquisition and addictive consumption of the physical products of technology – originated by external forces. All revolutions have spurn through concrete ideas and deep perception; knowledge; and understanding of a particular process; consisting of complex variables housed in the Culture-of-Things (CoT). And indeed, history has shown that all development revolutions throw up new leaders who sustain the enviable works of their vision-bearers. Now, committed and gifted players in the tech ecosystem should group up to undertake the national development leadership space. Political will should, through Executive Order (to be later transformed and enacted into an Act) ensure that all Boards of Governance should have at least one accredited Information Technology Professional/Practitioner.
Why e-Knowledge and Digital Literacy? Digital literacy has become mandatory for all – young and old. The electronic/digital era has not only disrupted but indeed somersaulted and deconstructed almost everything we know and understood about the origin and essence of life. Everything is now being wrapped up in the power of the human brain. This electronic human brain has no room for forgetfulness. The message and concurrent mission of today and our inevitable future is; No nation survives today and in the future without her people as the core-research laboratory for greatness. That amongst others, distinguishes between the notion of “Peoples-First Nation” from ‘Peoples-Last’ leadership models. Arriving at our innate digital destination in furtherance of navigating the stars translates to reimaging the brainchild of our inner minds to think completely without the Box!
In closing, redefining our e-Knowledge architecture is guided and spurred by the philosophy and concept of ensuring the consistency of digitizing and preserving our Inter-Generational Knowledge base, as a model for sustainable nation building and global competitiveness. It is borne out of the belief that global ‘knowledge’, represents a build-up and clustering of ‘patches’ and ‘layers’ of life’s common sense.
What are the core challenges? Simple: Tech IGNORANCE. Recognising that the world has changed. Lack of qualitative promotion of Science, Technology, and Innovation. This is visible by lack of political will and citizen’s inclusiveness and passionate leaders to energetically engage the frontiers of IT. Regrettably, it also amounts to the fear of Technology or Technophobia phenomenon and misconception; rather than pursue technology that matures in the mind of the citizens against technology consumerism addiction.
The early signs of impending Digital Disaster for a country such as Nigeria may have started to show. First is the faulty mindset and strategic policy preference for the wholesale import of the products of technology (physical technology products) against prioritizing that of developing the technology knowledge processes; and scientific human capacities for our development and sustainability. Above all, the strategic dominance of Indigenous Software Engineering development process; which should be tactically protected, has been left unguarded at many significant levels.
What Steps and Solution? Many steps have been taken but inadequate. We need to fast track and establish a robust digital enabling environment. Change IT Curriculum in education. Establish IT Antitrust Laws. Establish world-class IT Research and Development Centers. Inject massive political will into IT-of-Things nationwide. Establish National Software Commission and Office of the ICT General of the Federation. Establish 36 IT Parks all over Nigeria. Overhaul governance with e-Government; and appoint IT professionals into all National and State Boards of the Federation, and many more.