Re: [GKD] Nigeria: Silicon Valley Transplant

2005-01-13 Thread Gary Garriott
Dear Colleagues,

I have big concerns about using Rostow's five stages of development as
the base paradigm for this discussion (the original title of his work
was The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto so it is
clear where his politics lay). Many authors refuted his theories in the
sixties and seventies (see for example Anthony Galt and Larry Smith,
Models and the Study of Social Change, 1976). The final stage is
supposed to be the age of high mass-consumption which hardly fits the
reality of what is happening in the world today, as developing
societies become less equal and maldistribution of resources increases,
not diminishes.

And yet the stages mentality lives on. This is evident in the
all-or-nothing perspectives on availability and access to ICTs and
Internet. Either you make broadband available to neglected populations
and areas or they get zilch (nothing). No one considers that there is
and has been for many years a range of gap-filling intermediate
technologies (such as email via HF or VHF radio) that could provide,
over time, a platform for creating the higher order critical mass
because it can respond to real, existing needs now on a cost-effective
basis. Such needs, for example, probably do not suggest unlimited web
browsing as a priority response. The problem with uncritically
leap-frogging over these is that, based on experience, the 'leapfrog'
may truly not happen during our (or more importantly, users') lifetime,
and, second, who is worried about who is doing the leapfrogging and who
is being leapfrogged over?

Even these mostly unsung, simpler technologies could be considered
disruptive in the sense of uniquely addressing critical, existing
needs first and then allowing for creative expansion into other topical
areas and geographical locations. For me, one of the prime examples of
this implementation approach is described at
http://www.peoplefirst.net.sb/general/pfnet.htm (interesting to me is
that old-fashioned HF radio-based email is described therein as
wireless, probably to claim kinship with the latest genre). There may
even be ways to technologically leapfrog directly to Wi-Fi (and
special applications, like VoIP telephony) as at
http://www.sas.cornell.edu/cresp/ecopartners/cluster/cluster.htm, but
in both instances a community-needs/community involvement approach is
paramount, working in conjunction with the technology.

Nevertheless, the discussion is timely as I have frequently wondered if
the nearly fifty-year old ghost of Rostow's stages keeps us from
recognizing the value of these experiences and expanding them to all the
hinterlands, even if take off to high mass consumption will never be
the end result.


Gary Garriott (former ICTD LAC SURF Adviser) 



On Tuesday, January 4, 2005, Jeff Buderer wrote:

 This is an interesting conversation and I see the points from both
 sides. I think Ken is right in questioning the idea that you cannot as
 Tim says skip the first three stages and go straight to flying.
 
 I want to make an important distinction here between infrastructure
 approach and readiness and mental/organizational capacity/readiness.
 There are preconditions to take off such as outlined by former
 Kennedy/Johnson advisor Walter Rostow:
 http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:RcpyDDw_J4wJ:www.duke.edu/~jcd10/SO
 C126/Devolop1.doc+stages+to+take-offhl=enlr=lang_en
 
 I feel also that these preconditions to nation-state development
 critical mass also apply today. Because what Rostow is talking about
 applies not just to nation states but to all aspects of human
 development. His stages to take-off are a generalized set of criteria
 relating to developing momentum towards a critical mass within a
 particular system towards rapid growth and replication.

..snip...

 The concept of disruptive technologies offers another new concept to the
 mix. When disruptive technologies as well as approaches are applied
 effectively as part of a comprehensive package of solutions to address
 not only development, but world urgent issues like global warming, AIDS
 and loss of biodiversity, we start to see that the old rules of
 development don't always apply.

..snip...




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Re: [GKD] Nigeria: Silicon Valley Transplant

2005-01-11 Thread Molly E. Uzoh
crawl, walk, run, fly... leap-frog ... cheetah-polevault

Happy New Year Everyone!

I have been following the rich deliberations that have been going on in
this forum. Thanks to EDC for making it possible. I have gained a lot
from it.

It might not be appropriate to dwell on the above topic amidst the
Tsunami Crisis. However as an optimistic entrepreneur and a Nigerian
American resident and doing business in the Silicon Valley, I just want
to throw in my 2 Kobo.  (Warning: This may not be commercially equal to
2 pence but may exceed it when expressed in terms of psychic income.)

What of Quantum Leap ...? Digital vs. Analog?

CK Prahalad said it all at the 2004 WRI Eradicating Poverty through
Profit Conference in San Francisco. The Western World has spent several
years in cracking the economic and ICT development codes. It would be
foolish of the developing countries to trail the same path of crawling,
walking, running over the same hurdles of trials and errors that have
already been fine tuned with clinical trials. Why crawl if there is a
template for flying which one can customize to suit one's need? There is
no need to re-invent the wheels. The reality is that many Nigerians did
not have to own, or learn how to use, a land phone before a cell phone.
To be statistically thrifty, over 1,000 functional users of cell phones
in Nigeria today (including my mother) are illiterate. I didn't have to
send my mother to school before buying a cell phone for her. Is it a
quantum leap for her or what? Let us all see what we can do in parallel
to make this project a success and make money from it as well!
OneVillage is already playing this right.

Let us be realistic. Like many countries, Nigeria has the potentials and
a track record of executing some large scale PET PROJECTS successfully
despite the fact that their system may stink and other societal needs
might be over looked. The New Federal Capital, Commonwealth Conference,
FestAC, All African Games, etc, are just a few pleasant global surprises
from Nigeria.  You know, if Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties were
waiting to perfect Alum Rock and East Palo Alto before encouraging the
establishment of industries and small businesses next door, there
probably wouldn't have been a Silicon Valley by now. Nigeria has a lot
of infrastructure and social problems but not more than India. Somebody
needs to drive the standards, package it with image rebuilding
initiatives and follow it up with training, evaluation and global
lobbying (Lobbying, NOT bribery). Yes, Nigeria needs it.
  
El Rufai is in order. He seems to have a good track record of getting
the job done too. However, I think David Sawe is correct. With many
necessary things lined up in parallel with construction, I have no doubt
that there could be a Silicon Valley in the Federal Capital Territory.
Why not? Nigeria has a lot of untapped wealth, indigenous intellectuals
and global sponsors/investors that can make it happen. They just have to
QUANTUM LEAP their system to make it Silicon Valley-Ready while the
constructions are going on. The government probably needs a more
elaborate version of some of those Silicon Valley Corporate Readiness
Boot-Camps that I organize.
  
Do people really know what Silicon Valley is? Seriously, some people get
disappointed when they find out that it is not a Technology Plaza or
Park. For those who are still interested in this topic, the article
below will show you that the Capital Territory probably has more in
common with the Prune Valley (the real name of the Valley before chips
took over) than we think. ONE DAY BEGINS A STORY. My comments are seen
after each link.
  
***

Orchards to Online: Top 10 Events That Shaped Silicon Valley
Posted in San Jose Mercury News on Thu, Feb. 28, 2002

1.   The Computer Chip
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/living/2765031.htm -
Nigeria has several unknown inventors like Emeka Uzoh with over 98
Worldwide semiconductor patents, Emeagwali the computer guru, and
others.

2.   San Jose Sprawl: Dutch Hamann
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/living/2765036.htm - 
Who knows, El Rufai might be the one. He is probably not squandering the
money allotted to his office like many others.

3.   Founding of Hewlett-Packard
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/living/2765046.htm - 
In addition to ChevronTexaco and Shell presence, HP, Intel and IBM
already have bigger eyes on Nigeria for the future. The role of small
businesses cannot be overlooked. Nnewi Nigeria, would not be what it is
today without them.

4.   Minority-Majority Ethnic Shift
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/living/2765064.htm - 
This is already happening in Abuja in terms of ethnic and national
diversity.The climates are similar too.

5.   End of WWII: Urbanization
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/living/2765065.htm -
Urbanization? Think of Abuja 12 years ago.

6.   

Re: [GKD] Nigeria: Silicon Valley Transplant

2005-01-07 Thread Jeff Buderer
Dear GKD Members,

Its been a while since this was originally posted but in relation to
current discussions, I wanted to add this response to the original
comments by Femi Oyesanya.

The comments relate to the Interesting parallel between this Nigerian
government proposal and the Unity Center
www.onevillagefoundation.org/ovf/unitycenters.html concept that we
have developed through OVF, explaining how if it was done a little
differently, the Nigerians might just be able to pull it off.

These comments also relate to the recent post I made in relation to
Walter Rostow's Stages to Take-off.



On 12/03/2004, Femi Oyesanya [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 A recent Nigerian Newspaper article cited the Nigerian Minister of the
 Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasir El-Rufai, as saying that the
 Nigerian Government has given the approval for the building of a
 Technology Village. Nigeria will be building its own Silicon Valley on a
 650 hectare property, located in a suburb of the Federal Capital city,
 Abuja.
 
 The Newspaper article quoted El-Rufai as saying, we want to create a
 city of knowledge in Abuja. And on the way to the airport, we have got
 about 650 hectares of land we have reserved out of the Abuja
 master-plan. What we hope to do with the technology village, which is
 going to cost us between $300 to $400 million is to have the highest
 quality infrastructure attracting the best brains in information and
 bio-technology, pharmaceutical and Information Technology (IT) research
 to work in Abuja. (1)

**

Silicon Valley Story

The determination of such a center's success is not so much the
technology or the planning but the building of a framework of governance
from which financial, technological and social infrastructure can emerge
in a climate of trust and transparency.

Such a realization of a grand vision, necessarily involves the social
and cultural components of storytelling and myth-making. Silicon Valley
at its essence is a replaying of the modern American mythology of rugged
individualism. The story of Apple Computer being started in Steve Jobs'
garage is repeated again and again, so that it has become the classic
Silicon Valley success story. It is the story of hard working, highly
intelligent people who identify innovations and know how to make them
happen by working with other, often underappreciated innovators.

Ironically, though, the very necessary ingredients which led to America's
Silicon Valley success (and its overall success in modern times) are
being weakened from the pressures of a ruling class that eshews
accountability and transparency.

*

Pre-conditions to Take-off:

1. Such a center would ideally be organized to avoid any of the
transparency and corruption issues that plaque Nigerian civil society.
In this way it could be a model for a more decentralized model of
governance as an alternative to the nation-state model and therefore
putting Africa on the leading edge of post-industrial development.

2. Rather than seek to create one massive center it might be more
realistic to develop several prototype nodes that could experiment with
leading ICT as well as other leading sector innovations and then
integrate them to create new models of living that are suitable for
emerging markets. These nodes would be designed to be rapidly replicated
into surrounding regions, eventually forming a decentralized,
distributed grid that would facilitate sustainable commerce. This would
include communications, food production, consulting as well as ICT
related services.

3. Emphasis would be on an open source, community scaled and ICT
augmented development paradigm rather than a top-down proprietary model
that reinforces elite-periphery dynamics.


Jeff




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Re: [GKD] Nigeria: Silicon Valley Transplant

2005-01-04 Thread John Lawrence
In addition to David Sawe's noting that shortcuts can occur in
technological development, and that there is not only one linear path of
progress that all must doggedly follow, his posting contains another
interesting point that should perhaps be emphasised. The 'death of
distance' means that those talented, and sometimes more fortunate folks
from poorer world regions who are educated and live abroad indeed can now
contribute to the development of their 'very own countries'. There are
several ways in which this can be done, especially with new ICTs, but one
is the UNDP Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN)
Program (see for example the call to the Somalia Diaspora to engage in
rebuilding that country) at http://www.so.undp.org/Home.htm

John Lawrence
UNDP consultant, and
Adjunct Professor, SIPA
Columbia University.



On 12/30/04, David Sawe [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote: 

 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.

..snip...




***GKD is solely supported by EDC, a Non-Profit Organization***
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Re: [GKD] Nigeria: Silicon Valley Transplant

2005-01-04 Thread Jeff Buderer
This is an interesting conversation and I see the points from both
sides. I think Ken is right in questioning the idea that you cannot as
Tim says skip the first three stages and go straight to flying.

I want to make an important distinction here between infrastructure
approach and readiness and mental/organizational capacity/readiness.
There are preconditions to take off such as outlined by former
Kennedy/Johnson advisor Walter Rostow:
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:RcpyDDw_J4wJ:www.duke.edu/~jcd10/SO
C126/Devolop1.doc+stages+to+take-offhl=enlr=lang_en

I feel also that these preconditions to nation-state development
critical mass also apply today. Because what Rostow is talking about
applies not just to nation states but to all aspects of human
development. His stages to take-off are a generalized set of criteria
relating to developing momentum towards a critical mass within a
particular system towards rapid growth and replication.

From my perspective we are talking about a rule of physics that applies
to human phenomena and relates specifically to a core area of interest
to the group here: growth and modernization (and preferably fitting the
triple bottom line criteria of ecologically, socially and economically
sustainable development). I see ICT as an augmentation tool that can
rapidly change the dynamics and characteristics of the growth curve that
Rostow described.

The concept of disruptive technologies offers another new concept to the
mix. When disruptive technologies as well as approaches are applied
effectively as part of a comprehensive package of solutions to address
not only development, but world urgent issues like global warming, AIDS
and loss of biodiversity, we start to see that the old rules of
development don't always apply.

Now I want to emphasize I am not talking about rejecting Rostow's
assumptions because to me to reject those preconditions he is talking
about is sort of like saying the law of conservation of energy does not
apply. However what we see is many assumptions that conventional
development policymakers and economists make about the best way to
develop a society not only are increasingly irrelevant, but are
counterproductive to the stated goals and intentions.

What many of us are seeing materialize is something that is truly a
bittersweet experience for us, because we see the potential of
disruptive technologies and approaches to totally transform human
reality like never before. However, the human network readiness on a
global level is still not in place to properly execute this. Therefore,
it is very frustrating for many of us to visualize the integration of
these various disruptive technologies and approaches into a
comprehensive and whole systems approach to sustainable development. We
see the potential is there but the capacity to effectively implement (so
that the effectiveness of ICT as an augmentation tool is obvious and
unchallenged) is still missing.

The central component of this thesis relates not only to ICT/wireless.
What we are seeing is that new technologies in every aspect of human
existence are rapidly making the old technologies and centralized
infrastructure systems obsolete. This has important implications on the
very way in which economies grow because:

1) It impacts ROI, primarily by significantly reducing the
infrastructure costs of development.

2) We are at a unique point in history. Those previously marginalized by
highly hierarchical systems of command and control suddenly have access
to tools to disrupt the conventional order/status quo of contemporary
society.

The technologies are there and ready to be applied, what is needed now
is the effective ICT augmented global network. However, this is not just
an issue of organization but mental and organizational readiness: right
attitude and right mindset. There has to be a basic level of educational
aptitude, strong social networks, effective governance, financial
backing, a general economic justification for developing an integrated
ICT infrastructure and network and finally a firm resolve to do so, and
maybe that is what Tim is getting at.

You can have all the innovative ideas about wireless networks and
disruptive and sustainable technologies, but if there is not the right
execution or implementation, it has limited value... as theory that
seems plausible but is not proven to be true on a practical level. To
effectively address the unprecedented challenges that humanity now faces
(which extend far beyond issues of development to embrace the very
nature of modernity and human existence) we need to get many of us
(including me) who spend a lot of time on the computers talking, more
fully engaged in implementation in the field.
  
  
Jeff Buderer | [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Sustainable Design/Project Development 
oneVillage Foundation USA | http://www.onevillagefoundation.org  
oneVillage.biz | www.onevillage.biz

102 Ballatore Ct.
San Jose CA 95134
  
Cell 408.813.5135
Yahoo IM: jefbuder

Re: [GKD] Nigeria: Silicon Valley Transplant

2004-12-30 Thread David Sawe
Dear Colleagues,

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
sustainable.

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!

With regards,

David Sawe


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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Re: [GKD] Nigeria: Silicon Valley Transplant

2004-12-28 Thread Timothy A Gilbert
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.

Tim Gilbert
Solutions Consultant
203-426-7965
203-241-4551 - cell
[EMAIL PROTECTED]
IBM Learning Solutions..creating the future of learning
Internet: www.ibm.com/learning
Intranet: w3.ibm.com/services/learning



On 12/03/2004, Femi Oyesanya [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 A recent Nigerian Newspaper article cited the Nigerian Minister of the
 Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasir El-Rufai, as saying that the
 Nigerian Government has given the approval for the building of a
 Technology Village. Nigeria will be building its own Silicon Valley on a
 650 hectare property, located in a suburb of the Federal Capital city,
 Abuja.
 
 The Newspaper article quoted El-Rufai as saying, we want to create a
 city of knowledge in Abuja. And on the way to the airport, we have got
 about 650 hectares of land we have reserved out of the Abuja
 master-plan. What we hope to do with the technology village, which is
 going to cost us between $300 to $400 million is to have the highest
 quality infrastructure attracting the best brains in information and
 bio-technology, pharmaceutical and Information Technology (IT) research
 to work in Abuja. (1)

..snip...




***GKD is solely supported by EDC, a Non-Profit Organization***
To post a message, send it to: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to:
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