ICT In Nigeria Has Come A Long Way but Do We Really Need a Special Day to Celebrate? Zinox Founder Asks For Tech Independence
Leo Stan Ekeh, Founder and Chairman of the Zinox Group urged the Federal Government to declare October 1, 2020, Nigeria’s technology Independence Day. He made this declaration based on the strides made by Nigeria in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
As reported by the Guardian,
He said ‘’October 1 is traditionally Nigeria’s Independence Day. It is a day that commemorates Nigeria’s emergence as a sovereign state. Considering the massive strides recorded so far in our journey to technological emancipation, the Federal Government should strongly consider declaring October 1 Nigeria’s technology independence day….“I have often said that no country achieves true independence without a level of technological independence. The time has come for Nigeria to boldly emerge as a technology force on the continent and globally; to make the right investments and critical positioning necessary for securing our collective future in the 21st Century,”. The tech investor went on to commend the current administration for the improved focus on technology and knowledge development.
Why Celebrating Technological Independence May Be More Important Than You Think?
The internet and advances in communication technology has made globalization a quicker reality today. The entire world has been caught up to the many benefits that come with accepting and investing in technology especially since the global pandemic that hit this year.
Prioritizing technology innovation is the only issue that may need to be bypassed especially in developing countries; it has become much more important to prioritize advancement than it has to just adapt to technology.
When used correctly, technology has proven to be extremely helpful in furthering economic prosperity, we can see that in many technologically advanced countries like the USA, Germany, and China among others.
Nigeria as the heart of technological advancement in Africa for quite some time has also seen many benefits to adapting to this new era but that does not dispute the fact that there are still many areas in the country without access to innovation or technological growth and advancement. Many of the most innovative minds to come out of Africa originate from Nigeria regardless of the many odds that may stand against that accomplishment.
Every government is concerned with creating a sound and successful economy hence, the implementation of growth related policies. The Nigerian government is beginning to understand that innovation in implementation coupled with innovation in technological advances creates better opportunities for the economy to flourish. Since the early 2000s when the Nigerian National Information Technology policy was formulated, we could see the benefits of IT when induced into the government system and the economy. The e-governance policies since then have provided a conducive environment that promotes good governance in the country.
Nigeria has come a long way without a doubt but there is so much improvement to be done with regard to data protection, broadband reach, policies that protect innovative ideas and attract investors should and much more.
However, The Zinox founder does have a valid point as regards this declaration for technological independence. Nigeria has made strides in the technological space not just in Africa but across the globe and it is time we shed some light on that accomplishment. However, the one piece that some may be demur about is the clash with the Nigeria’s Independence Day. The political and sentimental representation of October 1st cannot and should never be compared to any phenomenon, not even one as important as technology advancement.