I had to look through some of my ageing files (articles, presentations, etc) today — and one caught my attention. Dated December 6 – 9, 2000, it brought memories as I saw the cover, and a smile escaped from the corner of my lips. eCommerce, Nigeria and the Next Generation was my first major presentation (outside the confines of school) and was facilitated by Mr. Chris Uwaje (often referred to as the Oracle of IT in Nigeria) following a response to the eMail I sent to Phillip Emeagwali, inviting him to come to speak at a meeting I was putting together 🙂
What I find most interesting about the article is the freshness of the thoughs, noting that they are supposed to be about six years old. Second 3.0 (actually, there was an error — I had two section 3’s) 🙂 was titled, Quo Vadis, and it reads as follows:
3.0 QUO VADIS?
It is not only enough to highlight the high points of employing the powers of our youthful populace in the present eCommerce revolution in relation to Nigeria, we should also consider what should be done in order to arrive at our destination, A New Nigeria.
I have a dream. I believe that one day, the nation we have all invested in building would be unveiled before our very eyes, and the words of the not-too-often-sung second stanza of our National Anthe:m would be true:
â€œO GOD of creation
Direct our NOBLE course
Guide our LEADERS right
Help our YOUTHS the truth to know
In LOVE and HONESTY to show
And living JUST and TRUE
Great lofty HEIGHTS attain
To BUILD A NATION
Where PEACE and JUSTICE shall reign.â€
Here is my submission as to the way forward with eCommerce, Nigeria and the Next Generation:
- That a strong awareness campaign be embarked upon by corporate bodies in the Information sector in order to conquer the looming digital divide,
- That the organised private sector and non-governmental agencies, along with the Federal Government of Nigeria, contribute to the elimination of InfoTech illiteracy among Nigerian youths through training, recruitment and other incentives,
- That Nigerian Universities should introduce courses in eCommerce and other Information Technology related truths either as special electives or during seminars,
- That the students in our various Universities be exposed to eCommerce trends globally, particularly w:hen interest is shown,
- That students be encouraged to attend seminars organised beyond the walls of their various institut:ions through rate subsidies. (I must at this point say an unequalled Thank you to the: Dr. Philip Emeagwali, Dr. Chris Uwaje and the Information Technology Association of Nigeria for believing in my project and particularly to the ITAN President for considering this paper for presentation.),
- That students be given a forum to showcase their projects and knowledgebase for proper analysis and possible modifications,
- That, in the next few years, courses would be offered by dynamic Nigerian Universities in such fields as eCommerce.
On a final note, I believe that there are individual projects of Nigerian youths in the field of eCommerce that can influence global standards if given expression. Such could be discovered, encouraged and channelled in the proper direction of creativity.
As you would notice from the two pictures above (the first one was taken during the meeting where I made my first presentation in 2000, and the second picture was taken during one of the passionate moments while I was speaking to a group of National Youth Service Corp members in 2005), the man has changed — but his message is still the same. ICTs hold strong potentials for development, for Nigeria, Africa and other developing economies — and the reality of this opportunity is a calling many of us must answer.