Well it seems that this particular chicken-and-egg problem is rather
multi-dimensional. Hence there is need to include, in addition to
crawl, walk, run, fly, some provision for leap-frog and indeed even
cheetah-polevault where that may be possible. In this case, Nigeria's
Government has decided to move boldly.
It is an inescapable fact that people in developing countries are going
to be receiving training in basic -AND- advanced sciences, either in
their home countries or abroad. This is not necessarily from the
government's funding, but also from scholarships, private resources, and
all kinds of other sources. However, such people will not be able to
contribute meaningfully to their own country's development if compelled
to live and work abroad where they'll be helping solve the problems of
developed countries instead of those of their very own countries.
Additionally, one of the key advantages of ICT -- that of the death of
distance -- offers opportunities for development activities, training
and education, access to capital, etc. that far out-reach anything that
would have been imaginable just twenty years ago. In the context of
developing countries, this is significant because all too often our
populations are spread out thinly across a large geographical area, but
are entitled to consistent services wherever they are. They constitute
the engine of growth that is being revved up by establishing centres of
excellence which will focus on listening to and addressing their needs,
by harnessing those technologies that can best deliver the most
affordable and sustainable solutions to their problems.
Meanwhile, it is also worth remembering that not all of any developing
country consists of poverty. Therefore there are also sectors of the
economy that are using ICT regularly and would therefore benefit by
having access to cheaper services and products of quality if these can
be generated locally by having the best brains working together. In
the case of Nigeria, merely the petroleum extraction industry alone
could possibly make this Technology Village quite immediately be
Addressing the issue of the educational pipeline from elementary
school through to job acquisition (and beyond to entrepreneurship
development) is something that must be addressed in parallel with
enhancing the provision of service delivery to the needy. Surely no
politician anywhere would last for very long if they ever try to
convince their constituencies otherwise?
In closing, let me take this opportunity to wish all fellow GKD members
a Happy New Year!
On 12/28/04, Timothy Gilbert [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
What is the phrase crawl, walk, run, fly. It sounds like someone in
Nigeria wants to skip the first three stages and go straight to flying.
On the other hand there is a chicken and egg problem here to mix
metaphors. Why train/educate people in basic sciences if there are no
jobs for them to apply their knowledge and skills? The challenge, it
would seem, is to find an engine consistent with current conditions that
runs on part economic development, infrastructure, training, higher
education, venture capital and government support. Once the engine is
running sufficiently to enable the full life-cycle of elementary
education through job aquisition, it can be revved up to drive down the
path toward a Technology Village.
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