There has been excitement in the air as theÂ Nigerian IT community awaitsÂ the launch ofÂ e-Knowledge â€“ Time is Running book, aÂ compendium of the writings of Christopher Maduabunachukwu Uwaje _ popularly known as the Nigeria IT Oracle.
The book represents a harmonization of some of the authorâ€™s recent and earlier writings on the subject of Information Technology as it relates to and affects his fatherland _ Nigeria.
According to the Author, the book scheduled to be published on March 30th at the Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island Lagos, is dedicated as a wake_up call to Nigeria and her citizenry, on the unconscious and layback attitude (of some of our leadership and policy makers) to critical (life & death) issues on the role of Information Technology to national development and nation building. In particular, the book aims to share Uwajeâ€™s wealth of experience and mission_critical concern on the state of IT_Nigeria and the shape of things to come.
Having pioneered the national Policy for Information Technology for Nigeria, it is expected that the Book Launch will not only wet the appetite of the general public, but fulfill the expectations of all IT Stakeholders with respect to the emerging roadmap to theÂ Â Â Â e_Knowledge Olympiad.
According to reliable proof_reader sources, in the book, the Author in analyzing future It trend, challenges and risks argues and predicts that, within the digital context, development opportunities and possibilities of 21st Century, digital colonization will occur and digital colonies will spring_up.
He warnedÂ that digital colonization of nations, through the interfacing global impact of Information Technology is most likely to hit Nigeria like a Tsunami, unless robust political will is brought to bear on the issue as a matter of topmost urgency.
Time , according to theÂ Oracle who is passionate about youths empowermentÂ may therefore be running out on future generations of Nigerians, who unknowingly, may have been sentenced to live in a future â€˜Digital Colonyâ€™ â€“ unless we take the bull by the horn now and prepare a strong IT foundation for their survivability and global competitiveness.
The Author further postulated that the speed and passion at which data, information and images are being conceptualized, generated, conceptualized, processed, transmitted, retrieved and manipulated through the application and use of Information Technology infrastructure has greatly transformed and continues to influence all known aspects of human life.
These complex digital transformation processes, he saidÂ will â€“ without doubt, ultimately lead us to the global knowledge Olympiad Arena. The flip side, he saidÂ is that this knowledge power arena is filled with a bagful of surprises, opportunities and risky impacts beyond our collective imagination.Â We must engage it consciously to ensure national survivability.
â€œe_Knowledge â€“ Time is running out!â€ is based on and spurred by the philosophy and concept of ensuring the consistency of preserving â€œInter_Generational Knowledgeâ€ (IGK) base, as a model for sustainable nation building and global competitiveness.
It is borne out of the believe that global â€˜knowledgeâ€™ in itself, represents a buildup and clustering of â€˜patchesâ€™ and â€˜layersâ€™ of lifeâ€™s common sense (that are perhaps not so common) over many centuries. This pattern of knowledge formation is finally adopted, reviewed and enthroned as global standards and best practices, from time to time.
Informed by the analysis in the book, the author submits that the Earth (soil patches and layers) is a typical example of how global knowledge is formed and attained. Each patch, each layer has its own distinct characteristics and stores the components of its life cycle.
You must have observed at a particular stage of your life, that when you dig the soil or watch people digging the soil, the output reveals that there are many colours (patches/layers). The same occurs in the formation of knowledge clusters.
In producing the book, the Author has drawn immensely from the experiences of many knowledgeable individuals, institutions and nations of the world â€“ as reflected in the references to this book. Prominent amongst them are Philip Chukwurah Emeaguali, Professor Pat. Okedinachi Utomi, Professor Turnner Isong, Professor Charles Uwadia, United Nations Documents (ATAS), Government of United States of America, Internet Community, Nigeria IT Professionals at home and abroad and other distinguished scholars and professional colleagues worldwide.
The book is therefore not just only about Information Technology (IT), but indeed, is about multifaceted shades of human life activities in the knowledge realm, people, passion, attitude and several streams of interfacing information and personal experiences on the emergence of Information Technology, social networking, Cyberspace and global development.
Based on the preceding analysis, Uwajeâ€™s prediction is that: â€œsome shortsighted nations will wake_up at midnight â€“ one day, in the early decades of this century and suddenly realize that they have been digitally colonized! The resultant effect of this probability will seriously impact on future generations to come.
In my candid opinion, this digital colony issue will one day become the critical heart of the matter in the emerging Information Society (IS).Â It simply means that the entire life, culture and sovereignty of a nation and her citizenry have been unknowingly traded off and taken over by IT_Smart, powerful and knowledge_centered information force and/or forces around the globe. This will complete the process of the fearful â€œknowledge lock_inâ€ syndromeâ€.
The Oracle further said: â€œThat this â€˜Digital Centuryâ€™ will take hostages is certain! This prediction is in recognition of the fact that the 21st Century knowledge development and movements through the Information and Communications Technology medium is a speedy phenomenon, whose consequences may be far grater than the tidal wave/Tsunami of our time. It will indeed make the originators of Star Wars look like Dinosaurs!
Nations do not just become a colony overnight, but they do! In other words, the processes of colonization are resemblance of cracks in the Inter Generational-Knowledge (IGK) cluster. When these cracks elongate and deepen, the centre can no longer hold and then all things fall apart.
This may constitute into a colonial tragedyâ€.
Based on factual history â€“ with reference to Virgilâ€™s Aeneid â€“ it was evident that the Queen of Dido was the founder of Carthage, a colony near what is now known as Tunis.Â Also the Kingdom of Benin had diplomatic relation with Portugal in 1493.
It is further instructive to remind ourselves that long before America became a sovereign entity in 1776, the Kingdom of Kanem Bornu had traded with the Ottoman Sultan of Istanbul in the 12th century and had established a diplomatic mission in Tripoli. Likewise, the University of Timbuktu and Fez in Morocco disseminated knowledge at a time European nations were encumbered. The Kingdom of Songhai, Mali, Ghana, Ba Congo, Zimbabwe flourished before Arab traders and Portuguese traders came to fetch slaves, exploit gold and Ivory.
Colonies are formed or emerge through various forms of interest_centric information movements. These information adventures are often aided by constructive innovative tools, instruments and related facilities now called technology. One of the most interesting and strategic tools in the adventure of human history is the Compass. The Power of the Compass â€“ a strategic product of Technology and its role in the traditional colonization process was critical to the slave trade processes and disaster to the African Continent.
A new disaster of similar nature , but of higher disastrous magnitude is about to be happen and repeat itself through the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) conduit â€“ with particular reference to the digital mobile technology, Internet, World Wide WebÂ (www) and other emerging technologies.
The good news is, we can reverse the emerging digital disaster (DD) to our â€œDigital Advantageâ€. (DA) Yes we can. Time to swing the change is now!
The mission of this book is to remind the African, and in particular, the Nigerian leadership that the future survivability of the continent/nation is embedded in IT. Therefore we must dust up and re_evaluate the state and position of our Inter_Generational Knowledge base and our IT Development Cycle and ask pertinent questions.
Where expertly are we heading to? And where are we now? To paraphrase Professor Michael Porter, â€˜national wealth may be inherited, but national prosperity can only be createdâ€™.Â E_Knowledge â€“ Time is indeed, running out on Nigeria!