Why Nigeria should adopt the ‘Silicon Valley ecosystem’

As Nigeria’s technology scene continues to experience a rise in tech experts and investment flows, it has been suggested that an adoption of the silicon valley ecosystem is necessary.

That is the position of Professor Mike Faborode, a former University Vice-Chancellor.

He believes that adopting this approach would not only lead to the expansion of the tech community, but would speed up national development.

Faborode, a former VC of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, argues that a collaboration of the information technology industry, the academia and government would make this process a reality.

Silicon Valley ecosystem vibrant mix of high-tech thinkers, innovators, investors and managers.

“All the three must play their parts; the academia is the catalyst in this effort; universities will drive this change and create innovations, Faborode says.

“If Nigeria and the entire Africa want to solve the problem of poverty, food insecurity, electricity, water supply issues and the mirage of productive industry, we need to develop the ecosystem.” 

He noted that silicon valley ecosystem and culture would affect everything promoting human existence.

According to the former vice chancellor, Nigeria does not have the culture in its universities but should put it in place.

“It is the way we create the environment that will make it to thrive; if we are hostile to the universities, there will be no research and they cannot be agents of change and development.

“To become an instrument of development and change for the society, universities must take cognizance of certain things,’’ he said.

He said that useful ideas would result in innovation, which would make people to be restless to solve problems of humanity.

“The ecosystem will create exponential technologies which synergies will affect world economy significantly.

“Its ecosystem is the interaction among universities and research centres, innovative mindset, service providers, venture capital, entrepreneurs, proven business models and a motivated people,” he said.

According to the former vice chancellor, the ecosystem has unique features which include risk-taking, harnessing of talents and giving back.

He said that the dynamic world would continue to evolve with exploits of knowledge, science, technology and innovation.

Faborode, a Fellow of the Nigeria Academy of Engineering, had at a lecture recently advised that Africans should be a part of the evolution as creators of content and not just consumers.

He called for a systematic national framework that would help to harness the innate potential of efforts of some youthful techno-preneurs.

Faborode called on the academia to rise to national rescue to entrench knowledge-based national planning and sustainable development paradigms.

“It is the African knowledge and innovation system that can save the continent and her nation-states from global irrelevance, perpetual servitude and grinding underdevelopment,” he said.