Technology is here, we might as well make the best use of it and grow our economy. Well, some argue that this is risky. Skipping industrialisation for information-age is not a foundation for growth, writes Elton Plaatjes. If Africa model after Asian countries like China, the continent will do just fine, Frank Feather proposes in his article "What Economic Lessons Might Africa Learn from China?"
While we try to find a balance in all of these dabates, I'll say, again, technology is here, we might as well make the best use of it. Well, many youths in Asia, Europe, Australia, USA, etc are already blazing the trail and embracing technopreneurship to sustain themselves and salvage the economy. Africans are catching up, and fast.
Technopreneurship goes beyond creating social network sites. Have your visited Co-Creation Hub (CC-Hub) in Lagos? Or maybe taken a trip to computer village in Ikeja Lagos? Okay, the technopreneurs live mostly within the big cities, for easy access to the right infrastructures.
In an exclusive interview with Charles Akpom, one of the founders of AfroTerminal.com, I asked:
The concept of Technopreneurship is fast gaining ground on the continent. As a technopreneur yourself, what support do you think African government leaders need to put in place to further strengthen the sector?
His response: It would be a good idea if entrepreneurship (I have an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Business Management) and technology were part of the educational curriculum (with appropriate funding and prioritization), right from primary school. It will help in shaping our nations for the future. Business and Technology will always be with us (mankind) and we may as well make the best of them, and use Technopreneurship to encourage self-reliance and economic growth in African nations.
Some unemployed youth in Nigeria are fast embracing the opportunities created by the advent of technology to establish different forms of technology focused enterprises, meet the different needs in our society while increasing their profit yield. I could start listing all the different enterprises but lets leave that for another researcher.
Nigeria can boast of an increase in her number of tech savvy youth, but unlike Asian countries, there is little or no government support to encourage technopreneurs. most people venture out, making the best use of the limited access to ICT infrastructures. And yes, it is getting more competitive. Talk about bottlenecks in the sector.
Our government leaders can learn from the Asian countries. For instance, the Singaporean government created support system early through sponsorship of university courses, developed policies to support the growth and development of domestic technopreneurial firms etc.
For upcoming Technopreneurs? Here is a word of encouragement from Charles on how to be your own CEO:
Things are not always going to work the way you want them to. People are going to let you down as well. But you have stay focus on your vision and be your own chief encouraging officer (CEO)! Be optimistic, but be practical and not just idealistic. It may take longer and be more painful than planned, but if you stick at it, keep learning and improving, you'll soon experience the miracle of fulfilled dreams. I say to myself and others, "it can only get better!"
And if you are leaning towards the infopreneurial sector (information and entrepreneurship), to embrace the business of media, then check out: “African News Innovation Challenge (ANIC)"
Google Partners With AMI, Launch Africa’s First Technology Driven Contest For Journalists
Lets keep innovating!