Speech made on the Occasion of Teens Code Conference on Wednesday November 1, 2017 by Erelu Olabisi Olaleye, Head ICT Desk, Sun Publishing Ltd, Author of Our Nigerian Story and First Female ICT Journalist in Nigeria to publish a telecoms book.
My special greetings to the
Organisers of Teens Code Conference
Chairman of the Occasion
Gentlemen of the press
Ladies and Gentlemen
The topic before me is ‘Technology for Social Good’. And I thought over this topic for a while and I concluded that this generation is quite fortunate when compared with ours. Though it is arguably when other factors are infused but to a large extent, I still congratulate this generation who think outside the box, who try to be unique as well as rule their world everywhere they go.
While we were growing up, there was nothing like mobile phones. What we had was a box like land line that stayed at home. And this necessity was only in the house of the privilege few. Then there was nothing like email, social media including Facebook, Instagram(IG), Twitter, Snapchats, Wechat, Startups,Satellite TVs, even coders and techprenuers like my good friends Adewale Yusuf, CEO Techpoint and Prince Ekeh, Vice President Yudala. But the space has changed socially.
In my days, we only watched Sesame Street at 4pm, Voltron: Defender of the universe, Tom and Jerry and we were locked up till the following day. But today, you people have lots of channels to choose from Nickelodeon package. For instance, Game shakers, Thundermans and Henry Danger.
But the story is quite different today because the collaboration of technology and new media has redefined our understanding of human progress in a rapidly changing world.
Today, e-commerce is rising geometrically; we can transact with debit cards, do banking transactions online among other things. But do you know that almost every technology today has the God factor because it started with Him? In the Holy book, when the hard-working disciples were in dire need of money, one of them saw money after opening up a fish, which is our Automated Teller Machines (ATM) today. In essence, whatever we do, we should never neglect the God factor. No one can ever claim to own anything without being given from above.
With technology, the world has become much smaller, access to information much easier and lifestyle much better.
There is a joke on the internet about a young child asking the grand dad how his generation survived without the Internet and he responded to him by saying “The same way we are now surviving with lack of respect for elders, arrogance and rudeness from this generation”. That is a bit of a digression but the take home is that technology has widened our scope and impacted positively in so many areas including the nation’s economy.
I recall that doing assignments in those days were a herculean task but with data on your smart device now, one can Google almost anything and get the answers in a jiffy, although we still face the problem of separating myth or from fact, opinion from fact and fake news from real news.
The global economy has drastically changed, with entrepreneurs and leaders emerging at younger ages daily and an economy that is now mainly innovation-driven. If we continue to empower only one specific type of leader and neglect opening up marketplaces to the unique and much-needed talents of different individuals, then economies within both the developed and developing world will suffer.
Suffice to say, we as stakeholders (or don’t you agree with me? As long as we are in this tech space (we are all dynamites and tech specie), we need to leverage on the social good that tech has brought to us, help each other to grow and not try to pull anyone down, we should strive to make better changes by influencing government unfavourable policies through dialogue accessing funding from government through its agencies like National Information Technology Development Agencies, NITDA and National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).
Already, Google and Wikipedia attest to the fact that Computer Village is the largest ICT Hub in Lagos and West Africa. We can replicate same through software and App development in making Nigeria, the utmost African Silicon Valley.
I will leave you with the words of immediate past president of the United States of America, Mr Barack Obama’s much-loved Campaign slogan: “Yes, We Can”.
Thank You for listening.