Coding for African Kids: A clarion call.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

The greatest complex.  The reason for the current state of Africa in comparison to the rest of the developed world is best explained in terms of the apparent productivity gap. This is a way of saying that productivity was, is and will be the most crucial element in a future that is no longer a distant prospect. I hate to sound like a broken record on this but the more I consider it, the more it becomes obvious that there is a fundamental error in the way we have sought to transform Africa for a while and this is not unconnected to the faulty diagnostics of the problem. In my essay; “The Future of Africa“, I established that the pursuit of economic growth and development is in itself an error. It is an error in the same way that the GDP of a nation is a mere indicator of activity. Nigeria has the biggest GDP in Africa, ahead of South Africa but the citizens of Nigeria are not in anyway better for it. Boasting because you have the biggest economy means nothing if more than half of the population live below the poverty line. Its like a man with a big manhood but who is sterile boasting around town. Size means nothing. Never equate motion for progress (Peter Drucker).

Practical Optimism. Like Bill Gates(Jr), I’m an impatient optimist. Concerning the future of Africa, I have chosen the contrary route of faith against the prevalent voice of dissents and naysayers who predict nothing but doom. That Africa is Rising is not a new narrative and we should not fall for such cheap accolades. Nevertheless, the practical realist in me in not under any illusion that the transformation of Africa will happen on a platter of gold. To think that Africa will overnight become a changed place is to be naive. The continent is complex in every way. So complex in fact that there isn’t quite a holistic framework to frame her context. Africa is home to hundreds of languages, multi-ethnic, tribal lines and a high proliferation of cultural, religious and political hegemonies. Although we all seem to share similar histories especially as it relates to our joint and several colonial pasts, we are not in anyway an homogeneous people. Africa may be geographically split into four poles but it is by no means a mere constellation of those. Yet, the future of this continent is equidistant to our ability to collaborate; trade with one another; cooperate with one another and live together.

Teach the Children to Code. While we yet struggle to achieve optimal progress in our pursuit of industrialization of our economies, African countries must be aware of the ramifications of what is ahead of us. We cannot afford to continue the cycle of backwardness that has pervaded our continent and our people. As the world basks in the euphoria of the information age and the promise it holds, we must think broadly and act decisively about the future. It is not enough for us to be mere adopters of new technologies. We must in fact lead the way. The best way to predict the future is to create it. As a matter of urgency, we must overhaul our now outdated educational system, set new priorities and branch out in new dimensions and expand new frontiers. One of such imperatives is the equipment of the our children with the transformation skill of coding. The Industrial Internet/ Internet of Things is the next big thing; the impact of this new age reality is far reaching on economics and society. We need a sense of urgency about it. Every child in Africa must be empowered to code. This is the only way we would survive and thrive in this new creative economy. This is urgent. It is imperative. Failure to do this is to surrender to a future so bleak. Need a little motivation or a push? Look here and see what Barclays Bank UK ; a formost institution from a developed country is doing on this matter.

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Femi Oni A.K.A “Producer” is a Kingdom Diplomat, Strategist, Productivity Champion, Designer, Social Evangelist and Catalyst. Multi-industry experience and demonstrable skills spanning Financial Services (Investment Banking, Retail / Corporate Banking, Micro-finance and Insurance), Consumer Business, Supply Chain Management, Management Consulting and Social Enterprise; leading and participating in dozens of projects and initiatives for leading institutions. Femi's overarching vision is to build iconic brands out of Africa with a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) to mentor 1000 brands in Africa by 2025