The Global Tech Race heralding the Fourth Industrial Revolution is moving at a break neck pace. In order for the Nigerian tech ecosystem not to be spitting dust in the wake of global tech leaders, decisive steps need to be taken to bridge this ever-widening technological gap.
According to a recent report from the World Economic Forum, rapid technological development has been recognised as a key source of growth and opportunity in the global economy.
This has sparked fierce competition between both public and private actors who strive to lead the market on Artificial intelligence, Internet of things, Nanotechnology, Robotics, among others.
In the past 15 years global research and development capacity has increased significantly. This has been fuelled by the rapid increase in expenditure on research and development by emerging economies.
China particularly has made science and technology a cornerstone of its developmental policy, it ranks second globally in research and development spending and accounts for 20% of total world expenditure in this field. It also has the highest number of undergraduates globally pursuing science and engineering degrees and has awarded more PhD’s in natural science and engineering than any other country.
As a result of this, China is now a firm contender in the global tech race at 2nd place and is rapidly bridging the gap with the United States of America which has traditionally been in the lead in global tech.
These stats make a case for digital education as a catalyst for technological advancement, towards ensuring that a nation’s digital economy and tech ecosystem remains vibrant and globally competitive.
In line with this, RIV Tech Creek ‘s Codegaminators Junior programme under its Junior Tech Creek programme is a laudable initiative.
RIV Tech Creek is an initiative by the Rivers State Government created with the aim of developing tech talents to ensure a vibrant tech ecosystem. With future generations in mind, this initiative has in turn birthed the Junior Tech Creek programme which has a mandate to equip future generations with valuable digital skills.
The Codegaminators Junior programme under Junior Tech Creek was created for kids and teens between the ages of 9 and 16 to develop Rivers State’s next generation Techies. This is in recognition of the importance of exposing the future generation early to technology education.
This initiative is a step in the right direction as it portends a vibrant and globally competitive tech ecosystem for present and future generations.
Codegaminators Junior contributes to fulfilling the skilled talents and Culture components of the Tech Ecosystem. This programme if sustained will ensure that the tech ecosystem continues to have a pool of skilled talents that will ensure it remains sustainable.
The introduction of future generations to the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem also fulfils the Culture component of the inputs of a vibrant ecosystem as future generations will more readily adopt Tech Entrepreneurship , this in turn will develop a vibrant and competitive tech ecosystem.
If our local tech ecosystem could adopt a lesson from the rise of China in the global tech race, it should be its prioritization of science and technology a cornerstone of its developmental policy and its robust investment in science and technology education.
Adopting this locally could give our local tech ecosystem a chance to make an impression in the global tech race and initiatives such as Codegaminators Junior is a right step in the right direction.
A stitch in time saves nine.