Nigerian ingenuity. ATV built by Ahmed, 15 year old boy in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Dr. Bukola Saraki, criticized mobile operators while speaking with journalists about the increasing incidence of kidnapping. He accused the operators of becoming accomplices in the menace of kidnap, stating “kidnapping had become a purely technology-driven crime“.
The first ever Nigerian ICT barcamp held last weekend in Lagos, and from what I’ve been reading, it was a success.
One the innate problems I think most Nigerians have — based on my experience and observations since 2005 — is the lack of cohesion and reluctance to pursue common purpose goals. These limitations, plus the over-aching lack of focus of the top national policy makers — as Oro blog points out, have resulted in a Nigerian ICT sector that has repeatedly failed to live up to expectation, particularly in comparison to other African countries like Rwanda, Kenya, and South Africa.
It is uplifting to read about the BarCamp Nigeria; my hope is that the event will translate into a series of ripples that invigorate the entire nation, both private and public sectors.
As the most populous African nation with a burgeoning base of Internet users, (Nigeria is currently second to Egypt at 10 million internet users), nature and geography have bestowed on Nigeria the ability to take huge strides; it is an absurdity that Nigeria lacks a national agenda on ICT.
One area I think Nigeria stands to gain the most is the use of web and related technologies in effecting/augmenting/facilitating changes at the social, economic and political levels of endeavor. The emphasis should not be ‘clone-hatching’ of existing works, but a creation of value-adding applications, deplorable at the enterprise level.
A great example of a value-adding venture is the Taiwo Ayedun/Fola Adeola-led Credit Registry, Nigeria’s pioneer private credit bureau. Credit Registry is unique in its use of biometrics to address identity fraud and the country’s lack of national ID numbering system. See Grandiose Parlor profile of CreditRegistry.
In closing, it will nice if the organizers of the event would release and post a communique of the event and future ideas and plans.
In its Vision 2020 plan, the Government of Rwanda aims to transform the country from a largely agriculture-based economy to a knowledge and information based economy, in an effort to reach middle income status by 2020. The Government has emphasized its intention to use investment in ICT as the key driver for this transition and as a vehicle for improving the delivery of public and private services, particularly in the rural areas.
Source: Africanloft Media / World Bank.