Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Nigeria - 21st century development challenges are strategically driven by Science and Information Technology

[vanguard] The simple truth today, is that no nation can effectively succeed in solving her 21st century development challenges, unless the national vision aspiration, mission and strategies are fundamentally anchored in the realm of knowledge creation - and strategically driven by Science and Information Technology (SIT).

Currently, all successful economics of the world are knowledge-based and technology driven. They have established a new global society, where the core value system is domiciled in the skills to create productively, by transforming knowledge and information into innovative products and services. Can we keep pace with the rapidly changing world without a fundamental shift in our value system and education models? We return a "NO" verdict! There must be a Knowledge and Technology Paradigm shift.

This is simply because information and knowledge have become - and for a long time will remain -- the centre of gravity of human development and the universal currency for productivity, competitiveness, incresased wealth creation, national prosperity and survivability.

There is a Paradigm shift in global development agenda and Nigeria cannot pretend not to be affected by its current and emerging impact. Any nation that wishes to attain and sustain meaningful development 'MUST' therefore enthrone Science and Technology and in particular, information and communications technologies at the highest level and priority of its visioning, planning and nation-building process.

It is for this and other significant reasons that nations have placed the highest development priority on building a critical mass of their human capital. Also governments around the world are thus focusing on strategies to increase access to and improve the quality of education.

New skills for the networked world Dependence on our natural resources (oil and gas) will not guarantee the future existence of the Nigerian nation -- only the human capital can do it and sustain it for generations yet unborn. According to Robert J. Hawkins of World links for Development, "A relevant education is more important today than ever, because today's Networked World demands a workforce that understands how to use technology as a tool to increase productivity and creativity.

These skills include "information reasoning," a process in which reliable sources of information are identified, effectively accessed, understood, contextualized, and communicated to colleagues.

Furthermore, employers require workers to have the skills necessary to collaborate, work in teams, and share information across global networks, that is, to analyze issues from a multidisciplinary perspective. Because these networks are international, employers seek out individuals who have the capacity to effectively interact with others beyond national boarders."

The simple fact which we all ascribe and must agree to is that, If we compared our world today with the world one hundred years ago, we would encounter amazing advances in science, commerce, health care, transportation, and countless other areas.

Let us advance our thought along this line on what will happen to us and the changing world, one hundred years from now! One thing is clear, and then it will be a world ruled by Nano-Sciences and Nano-Technology -- where knowledge becomes the centre of gravity for human progress, productivity, sustainable growth and creation of wealth.

Compared to the impact of the Industrial Revolution, the emerging world that may crystallizes within the next few decades; a developing nation such as Nigeria will feel a suffocating impact of science and technology pressure. The globalization Tsunami will definitely submerge a few nations! Will Nigeria survive the global knowledge Tsunami? Current index of our National Development Cycle informs otherwise.

However, with a dint of accelerated and timely hard work, we may be lucky to leapfrog and survive the impact of the 21st century knowledge society surge. In any case, no nation will wait for the other, in this fearful adventure on the survival of the "knowledge" of the fittest.

In today's information and knowledge-driven world, a whole new set of skills are required to survive. It is a brave new would, where wishes are not horses. But, where values have changed and only where information and knowledge sensitised nation survives!

Nigeria: IT - Before That Constitutional Amendment

No comments: