Founder and Chairman, Mobile Software Solutions Ltd, Mr. Chris Uwaje has called on African nations to prioritise investment on Science and Technology as against politics, contending that Africans now live in Digital-first world and cannot continue to blindly steal the future of their children.
Uwaje who made a Keynote presentation at the ongoing 2020 virtual edition of the Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition said the digital battle of the future will be very fierce and fought with the greatest weapon known to man, which is knowledge, data, information, emotions and communications.
“Every nation would be judged by her foresight and constructive actions. Africa should reverse her illusionary development strategy of begging for what she has in abundance, which is the capability of the human mind,” he said.
Uwaje, known across the ICT circle as the Oracle, noted that overtime, underestimating the monumental impact of the digital revolution and emerging information society to retool the workforce and the African environment, has been Africa’s greatest bane.
“We have neglected innovation research, teamwork culture and massive impact of consumerism mentality. It is, therefore, time to reinvent and rediscover Africa. We have underutilized the abundant ICT human resources for employment in tourism.
“There is gross digital infrastructure deficit, especially health-related issues in tourism; alternative power resources; access to internet broadband and security of life. There is inadequate personal data security and absence of digitization regulatory empowerment,” Uwaje said.
While positing that curiosity, time and passion are the most critical variables of learning, innovation, discovery and technology value chain, Uwaje said it is now time for Africa to diversify, draw the roadmap for endless innovation cycle and reimagine the future of things.
Using the George Floyd murder incident as a reference, Uwaje stated that the smartphone experience and COVID-19 have exposed the level of human bedded opportunities for Africa to pursue technology development excellence.
He said that for Africa to constructively deploy the power of technology, a declaration of state of emergency on the continent’s digital requirements is not only most urgent but there should also be a marshal plan on how to reconstruct learning, governance, leadership and the judiciary.
Africa should energise political will to foster and promote compulsory science and technology, education and culture to empower and leapfrog youth innovation across the continent.
“Africa should restore leadership credibility, trustworthiness, enthrone merit, refine political attitude, expose and defeat corruption in Africa,” he said.
The former ISPON President recommended that going forward, Africa should promote a 5-year National Software Innovation Plan; promote corporate governance, as well as adopt a bottom-up strategy by starting digital science at primary and secondary school levels as key response to future of work, innovation and discovery.
He called on the African Union to declare an ‘Africa Digital Day’ and empower the youth to engage the emerging digital knowledge Olympiad, through a special Africa continental Hackathon for digital transformation, readiness and innovation.
The 2020 virtual Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition continues today.