The issue of gender balancing, when it comes to the tech ecosystem, has always generated a lot of controversies. A school of thought, is of the opinion that we need to encourage more women to join the ecosystem, while another thinks that, it does not really matter, how many men or women are active in the Tech ecosystem, as long as it is bubbling and thriving.
I recently had a hat with Chioma Agwuebgo, Founder, TechHer, on Tech Trends on Channels Television and she bares her mind on this and why she thinks that government should just create an enabling environment for the tech ecosystem to thrive and then, gradually step away, as well as, other issues.
CFA: What do you think we are doing correctly, or otherwise, with technology?
Chioma: I think that, the country is doing a number of things right, however, I strongly believe that, the wrong steps that were taken, outweighs the good steps that were taken. For instance, we are jumping on every trend, without the requisite knowhow, without the requisite structure, without, even, the requisite thinking behind it.
We hear that hubs are the thing of the moment and, so, government just runs around it, splashing money on hubs, and sometimes, I belief that the government wants to buy technology. You will think that because you have the money, you pay for something and then, it starts working, no. If I bought you a N200 million, gazillion, or, billion car and you don’t know how to drive, the car will go to waste. That is exactly what is happening.
The enabling environment for technology in Nigeria doesn’t exist. We are still at the mercy of Google, setting up Google stations for people to have WiFi. If we want to be serious, about enabling our people, to not only use technology, to not only adapt technology, we will take government processes online and not just that, we would create opportunities for people to learn how to access government services online. Let us be serious. When we are ready to do it, we will do it. For now, it’s a nice thing to cut ribbons here and there
CFA: So, would you say, it is because of poor policies, or, simple lack of foresight that we should have applied.
Chioma: I think it is a little bit of both. One thing I’ve learnt is that Nigeria has laws for pretty much everything. We can’t say we are without laws or without regulations, no. All these still, exists. What we don’t have is Political will, which sounds like a specific cliche, but it’s true and whether we like it or not, this lack of political will, this lack of foresight, this lack of strategy planning, is the bane of pretty much everything in this country, including technology.
How are we creating a generation of that, is not only out of school, but is being trained without exposure to tech trends, without exposure to the adoption and adaptation of technology to their everyday life.
You can watch the full interview here.