Continuing from “Electing 21st Century Dinosaurs or Innovative Visionaries: Tech Sector -2“, we move to Substance Required
Vision and innovation are essential for 21st century impact. It is one thing to identify the issues; doing something about them is another animal entirely. Forget the same old stuff. It won’t work. Visionary remedies must come to the party.
Politicians singing about e-government and software need to be told that they are not doing enough. We need to know how political parties and candidates will address tech issues in their domains. Solid strategies and deep content are needed. They should share their plans with the electorate. Substance is required.
Even though they are spending millions to get their messages to potential voters, messages from candidates lack depth on policies impacting the sector. Sloganeering, window dressing, tokenist gestures and populist hype don’t meet the mark. Neither will guilty acknowledgement of underachievement. For the sector we must demand that candidates become more vocal on the specifics of how they will ensure technology in Nigeria boosts job growth and delivers significant value to the economy.
We need to have specifics on policies, funding, legislation and tax interventions to benefit ICT startups, entrepreneurs, innovation and bridging the digital gaps. Which strategies will be adopted for government agencies developing and regulating IT and Telecom activities? Are there detailed plans for building ICT human capacity (relevance, quality and sufficiency) for development? In fostering of a knowledge culture, how will tech achievers be celebrated as national heroes and role models?
Leadership will and capacity
Vision is critical. As Professor Anonymous puts it “You can’t get to a place that you don’t believe exists.” Innovative visionaries imagine and create the future. Politicians prospecting for votes should come with a deep understanding of the issues. Relevance in this age requires leaders to think big, clean, fresh and fast. And act bold. They do this while at same time enthroning a culture of high standards in merit and ethics.
There is a deeper sense in which advancing tech issues is really about shaping the future of Nigeria. An unfortunate trend is that the future of ICT and related issues do not feature prominently in election and political discussions. This immense area of society is simply taken for granted (just as the modern tool for operations and support). But those with vision know it is bigger.
Innovation and Development Advisor, ICT
“Technology matters, but it is always about PEOPLE”