To be able to take advantage of developments in technological advancements, countries should be able to develop technological capacities (exogenous to business) that would enhance the generation, adoption and diffusion of new technologies. The good news for Africa is that the future industrial wave would not depend necessarily on technological infrastructure but also on people, products, platforms and of course policy. It’s all about knowledge and knowledge no longer resides in artefacts (technology) but in people.
Indeed if we follow the same trajectory as we have done so far it may not happen anytime soon. We need to move away from the traditional logic that the technological and (economic) environment is given and that all Africa can do is to operate within the given boundaries. In my opinion we have largely been held back by this model of thinking. All we need is to harness that knowledge and we are good to go. But how relevant is knowledge in this context? Isn’t what Africa has been using to play catch-up during various waves of industrial revolutions? Learning, acquiring knowledge about everything elsewhere? Then what
Knowledge as a Perishable Good
I am almost certain that what I am saying here will stir controversy. Why should knowledge be treated as a perishable commodity? Here’s what I think. Knowledge is patterns in existing data (information) which helps us to make decisions and take actions. Knowledge is being able to show (behaviour) that we have indeed learned something based largely on what exists. Sometimes existing knowledge helps us to successfully forecast or even predict a future. Knowledge is power. Knowledge helps us understand where we are coming from and to understand our current position. The less we learn the less we know about before:
Every hour of every day I’m learning more
The more I learn, the less I know about before
The less I know, the more I want to look around
Digging deep for clues on higher ground – UB 40 Higher Ground
In my opinion knowledge is a good resource. Knowledge helps us to understand the changing past. But it is the power of imagination in the present that helps us create the desired future.
Before we know it, it may already be too late