The incursions into the dynamic tech space started in the 60s with young individuals pioneering innovations across board.The average age for tech entrepreneurs was 25 and with dedication they forged new frontiers that heralded an upward shift in the American economy.
The likes of Bill Gates,Steve Jobs and the rest started the technology juggernaut and it has only wheeled into greater successes.These successes reached an admirable height with the democratization of the personal computer by Apple Inc.
The stories of successes in America have become inspiration for other nations of the world and the technology boom is on even in sub Saharan Africa,technology has changed the game and most young people (which would amount to 500million in 2050 in Africa)have become digital natives with a mix of product dispositions both from foreign climes and local climes like young people having oga taxi app and the Uber app on their phones.
The Nigerian story has been successful although started late but we have started to catch the eye of the world with big gains from companies like Gamsole,Andella,techpoint,Jumia,Dealdey,Konga and the list goes on.It should be said that with little support these companies have birthed,nurtured and developed an hitherto non-exsistent industry.
This can only continue because with technology the future only gets brighter, a clear pathway of these fact is the rapid growth of the likes of amazon,Alphabet and Facebook worth over 1 trillion dollars,a sizable portion of America’s 20 trillion dollar economy.
According to the economist magazine,The tech sector has done in 20 years what the financial services industry couldn’t do in 200 years “build scale”
It should be said to increase this scale the government needs to come in and put their might in the sector
What government should do?
For government to be able to play in this space they must understand the technology space.I mean holistic adoption.It should be said tech is the new oil boom but I doubt if the government understands this.Nigeria seats on a gold mine with over 60 percent of its population less than 30 years with bustling energy.The technology value chain can be used to provide opportunities that can help bring people out of the gulf of poverty.
Steps to achieving this?
The federal government should set up a technology awareness and reawakening fund (TARF).This fund should be used to kick start the startup industry in Nigeria,this should be implemented with the aim of having 13,000 starts ups funded over a period of 1 year and this should be continuous,various regulations should be enforced with recepients mandated to develop technology manpower amongst Nigerian youths.If this is properly harnessed this should provide over 10 million jobs in 10 years.furthermore tax breaks and constant support should be given to these model startups
The government should work at changing the curriculum to suport mordern realities in the technology industry.Currently our syllabuses are moribund imagine a university student still studying FORTRAN.This should be addressed and to back this up.The government should set up code academies in the 774 local government areas to teach and help develop youths in the technology space.The Code academies should be a beacon of excellence in our society.
I believe with all these moves Nigeria should be on a path to harmonize our potentials in the technology space for development.
Now is the time to start!