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Sunday, October 08, 2017

Still on ICT University: Why not ICT Innovation & Development Centre?

Dateline November 2, 2016: I have not seen the working papers for the 'University of ICT' endeavour. Quite honestly, I will not like to be recruited into planning a University of ICT. I will be excited to be part of an effort to develop an ICT Innovation and Development Centre which strengthens the DBI (Digital Bridge Institute) structures may achieve.

I have not followed the trajectory of DBI for some time though. It's objective at inception however aligns with the aspiration I expressed above. Somehow, my reading is that the DBI endeavour didn't fly. I have never known why.

What I conceive as ICT innovation and Development Centre is (NOT University of ICT please, and kindly mind my emphasis all through) already addressed in an opinion I floated a few years ago when I was still active in the industry. I have yet to moderate myself on the subject.

The Centre I have in mind shall recruit brilliant, smart, graduates of any discipline to train for a period of about 30 - 40 months of rigorous curricular on innovative applications of the Science of ICT in business, the professions, and governance. 

The course structure may include Science of ICT, digital communication, information security, Innovation, software engineering, entrepreneurship and business, fabrication, robotics, knowledge management and law. I leave experts to firm all those details up.

The Faculty shall comprise of experts invited from industry and academia from anywhere in the globe to the extent of what the Centre can afford.

It is the quality of equipment for training that makes this Centre different from a typical University and a deliberate desire to take it away from structures such as National University Commission (NUC) where its mandate may be lost to politics of the land and the 'job for the boys' syndrome that we are known for.

The Centre is not a Centre for all but a world-class Centre for extremely clever individuals who may have to be normally sponsored by industry players to whom they also return after their training.

Recruitment into the Centre will be strictly on merit and it shall be taken away from the apron of government. It should be a self-sustaining business and not receive government handout in any form.

When I said DBI could transform into it, I meant that the Centre could purchase the infrastructure of DBI if the idea that DBI transforms to it is accepted or if DBI is available for sale. If it is not, then the Centre should be built from scratch while DBI keeps soldiering on.

In our clime, Government ownership, and therefore a collateral subjugation of any vision to the pressures of politics, has made enough mess of our ability to nurture the kind of minds that can rapidly put us and our businesses on the world map.

I'm not designing a perfect structure but flying a kite which a multi-disciplinary team of experts will work out. Not for Government to fund but for government to promote and genuinely support.



*Courtesy: Titi Omo-Ettu Observatory at November 2, 2016, as input into an endeavour to establish a University of ICT for Nigeria.

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