Fawumi Kehinde Olayinka participated in the 6th. edition of the SABF in 2010, and was a SABF delegate for the 7th edition. He is from Nigeria, and studied Computing Engeneering at Obafemi Awolowo University and in this article provides his vision regarding the SABF 2011 main topic.
In this essay, I wish to unequivocally relay the trends of the sophistications our local and global socioeconomic systems are undergoing and the urgent need to combat the threats, or better still, prepare for its implications.
I live in a country, like many other developing countries, where several unacceptable and inexplicable predicaments live together with enough potential resources to solve them. Fifty years after gaining independence from the British in 1960, Nigeria is in the middle of a transition from a poor developing country to what will be the fifth largest country in the world in 40 years. Like a leukemic infection, the population explosion will create a huge strain on the country’s economic, social and political systems. Thus, Nigeria stands on the threshold of what could either be the greatest constructive transformation in its history, or the most vicious incidence on its systems. Whatever it will be, our decisions and strategies for socioeconomic management of capital and human resources facilitated through an objective political leadership will determine.
A similitude of this trend exists in most developing countries in Africa and beyond. By economic progressions, before the year 2030, 80% of developing countries in the world would have outgrown their capacity for self-sustenance.
So, how can we convert this potentially disastrous situation of exponential uncertainties into an advantage? How should we plan for its undertone?
Firstly, it is vital to that developing countries increase the productivity of the abounding intellectual capacities. In this pursuit, we must invest in qualitative solutions rather than wasting scarce resources on quantitative ones. We should build resourceful people rather than build (perishable) resources for people. And to achieve this, we must harness three pertinent approaches: 1. strategic review of our educational systems in order to bridge the gap between the learn-to-pass-style of education and technical, entrepreneurial and socially-balanced aptitude, 2. methodical intervention of the private sector to play actively in the development of our systems and 3. creation of sustainable businesses by both private and public establishments. Entrepreneurs must keep a mind of businesses with measurable social relevance, or at least, of human capital development.
Secondly, we must ensure a sustained socioeconomic development despite the uncertainties of the next decades through effective resource usage optimization and a paradigm shift in our reasons for business-creation. There will be need for intervention of business strategists and economists to specify and implement pragmatic methodologies which will effect this proposition. In their proposal, the paradigm of perceiving business as a value-creation endeavour should replace that profit-making mentality.
Should business not be concerned with making profits? Absolutely No! But profits should not form the basis of business creation. A new discovery is not in seeing new landscapes, but having new eyes.
Conclusively, our socioeconomic and political situations would not be what it is today, in the nearest future – it will be worse, unless great leaps are made to create the foundations for the changes we hope to experience in the next generation. We do not essentially need new strategies, but adapting thriving solutions to cater for the peculiarities of our socioeconomic conditions. We must be more creative than ever before! It is said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. Thus the responsibility lies on us all to act now in creating the future we desire to see. If you are ready to wait for eternity hoping things will become better – I wish you well. I will continue to face the challenges of our exponential times – until I see the change our world deserves. What do you say?