Project Executive Summary
Information and communication technology (ICT) is playing major roles in the course of socio-economic development of Nigeria. It has redesigned major industrial areas by enabling more efficient business processes even at lower costs. In both the public and private sectors, it is driving a new vista of human and organizational capabilities that will equip the nation to compete at both regional and international levels. As ICT transforms the country into a knowledge-based economic system and a cashless society made of the citizens, companies and the states in electronic-linked mutually dependent relationships, our nation will experience new growth opportunities.
This remarkable success of ICT in integrating the tripod interface of people, processes and tools seem to have masked the advancements in many other technology areas.Indeed, from metal processing to agriculture, from shoe making to dyeing, hobbyists,entrepreneurs, and startups are creating innovations in the nation. The trajectory of these changes is largely local with entities localized based on specific factors that improve their capacities to compete within their industrial sectors.
Understanding these developments and where they are taking place will be important for government and the business community. That knowledge will give policymakers the insights to know the areas to stimulate with appropriate government interventions. It will usher an era where S&T innovation policymaking is driven by data even at local levels. Programs like the YouWin! could be revamped to fund companies based on cluster- geography where proximity is enabling sharing of ideas and know-how. With mobile technology facilitating collaborative networks upon digital-powered social ecosystems, Nigerian government requires new mechanisms to drive commerce and stimulate entrepreneurship.
Also, this project will help local and international investors to understand technology patterns and how they are being formed in the nation. This will facilitate smarter allocation of investment capital by correlating technology field with geography where it can succeed due to local comparative advantages. For development institutions, it will help understand, quantitatively and qualitatively, how technology is penetrating and diffusing in the economy.
The Nigeria Innovation Cluster Mapping project is poised to uncover the pockets of industry clusters where companies with similar attributes co-exist. The research will provide government and business community with data and tools for understanding what drives clustering, in every region of Nigeria, and how policy can boost its efficiency. This project will help take guesswork out of innovation policymaking by assisting government to know where innovations are occurring, their forms, and how to nurture them.
Globally, data shows that clusters play major roles in regional job growth, wages and formation of new companies. It is now strategic to develop ways to support clusters because of their impacts on sustainable economic growth. Our research will help find an objective, quantitative measure to understand the critical drivers of regional competitiveness with consistently based statistical methods that will help improve the welfare of Nigerians.
To undertake to collect and present technology innovations, formation of clustering, knowledge base evolution, technology startups establishment, formal and informal tech design activities across Nigeria and present a report. Among others, the report will have a map which will give a visual factual snapshot of where the nation stands as well as provide the blueprint to forecast where it is going at regional and state levels.
The project is managed by the non-profit African Institution of Technology (www.afrit.org) with Milonics Analytics (www.milonics.com) providing the statistical modeling and data analytic tools. The Program Director is Ndubuisi Ekekwe, Ph.D.
This project is sponsored by The Tony Elumelu Foundation. The Foundation, founded in 2010, is an African-based, African-funded philanthropic organization, with a mission to support entrepreneurship in Africa by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector. For more about TEF, visit www.tonyelumelufoundation.org.
About Dr. Ndubisi Ekekwe
Dr. Ekekwe holds two doctoral and four masters degrees, which include a PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, USA and an MBA from University of Calabar, Nigeria. His professional experience includes a mix of private, public and academia including Diamond Bank, NNPC, and Babcock University. He previously served on the United States National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center E&D Committee for four years. Dr. Ekekwe is a non-executive member of the Board of Directors, Temple & AegeanDas, a Lagos investment bank firm. He is the recipient of IGI Global 2010 “Book of the Year” Award. He is also a TED Fellow and World Economic Forum “Young Global Leader.”