The ICT Clinic column now in its eighth year continues its tradition of driving the Nigerian economy, empowering start-ups, and championing policies that not only impact the country positively but are in sync with current trends in technology.
With that, I bid you welcome to 2021, a year upon which last year’s failed hopes and expectations are pinned.
Although 2020 was an epic year, it still ended up being an interesting one with regards to issues that developed, some of which were solved, some ongoing, and yet some relatively untouched.
To start off on an interesting note, the first edition of my ICT Clinic column will be a two-part series. With this backdrop, I will share five excerpts culled from our top contents for 2020 which dwelt largely on the emergence and impact of COVID-19 across various sectors of the economy and on national development.
Unsurprisingly, the word “Coronavirus” made the Search Engine Results Pages top list of most searched words of 2020 according to reports. That in itself illustrates how the outbreak of the deadly pandemic shook the globe to its core.
COVID-19: of conspiracy theories and scientific facts
In my ICT Clinic column of Sunday, April 19, 2020, titled “COVID-19: of conspiracy theories and scientific facts”, I discussed how the outbreak of this virus sparked off conspiracy theories revolving around China, Bill Gates and the deployment of 5G network amongst others.
I wrote the following: “One of the conspiracies is that China wanted to take over the world economy and be at the forefront of influencing world politics going forward.”
“Another theory is that Bill Gates, billionaire and Founder of Microsoft, wants to introduce his ‘Quantum Dot Dye’ technology, through the administration of the tracking digital ID, as such, many are alleging that he is in the know about the origin of the Coronavirus to achieve his personal objective.”
“Yet another conspiracy theory, is based on the fact that the pandemic is, in fact, caused by the effects of radiation, from the deployment of the 5G network. A number of scientists across the world have emphatically stated that there is no correlation between 5G and COVID-19, which makes good sense.”
I concluded the piece by encouraging Nigerians “to abide by the hygiene of washing their hands often, maintain social distancing, staying indoors as much as possible, as well as take other precautionary steps to avoid contracting the dreaded disease.”
COVID-19: Focusing on the digital development of the nation’s health sector
In my ICT Clinic column of Sunday, April 26, 2020, I commended the efforts of NCDC as well as other related agencies in minimising the spread of the pandemic. However, I identified a number of benefits leveraging technology in the Nigerian health sector will bring especially to combat COVID-19.
I wrote, “the government should be deliberate in making drastic changes to the country’s health sector, by embracing technology, which is, a move that will help to solve the challenge of congestion in the hospitals.”
“By employing digital development in the health sector, medical personnel and patients can share information in realtime via digital devices, between both parties. This will also enable the capturing and observation of readings from medical devices, irrespective of location.”
I concluded by imploring the government to “consider the outright adoption of a holistic digital development that will transform the healthcare system into one that will be prepared to handle, without stress, the possibility of similar pandemic outbreaks in future.”
COVID-19: Advancing adoption of technology
In my ICT Clinic column of Sunday, May 26, 2020, titled “COVID-19: Advancing adoption of technology”, I expressed my delight at the progress Nigeria seemed to be making with the adoption of technology across various sectors of the economy.
Nonetheless, I wrote on how organisations need to leverage technology to stay afloat in today’s business environment.
“The more a firm properly leverages technology, the more its customers will want to stay loyal. This is because an average individual wants to explore all the possibilities that would make all the associated transactions and activities, comfortable.”
I concluded by sharing possible results businesses can get from proper tech adoption. Review the article to find out what these are.
COVID-19 and the fourth industrial revolution
On Sunday July 5, 2020 I wrote a piece which centres around “COVID-19 and the fourth industrial revolution”. There, I acknowledged the various innovative technologies deployed by countries, including Nigeria, to address the covid situation. Some of the digital tools utilised range from AI, Robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and 3D printing among others.
I categorised the countries across the globe based on the degree of their capacities for effectiveness and usage. In varying degrees, some nations displayed high capacities in both areas, some were high in one area, but low in the other. To find out which country ranked high or low according to this categorisation, review the full article.
COVID-19 and the rise of global cyberattacks
In the piece titled above, I discussed the lawless activities of people who harness the powers of technology to carry out nefarious schemes- cybercriminals. During the pandemic, they attempted and even succeeded in wreaking havoc on a huge number of victims which include individuals, groups and organisations across the globe.
I wrote: “We cannot overemphasise the necessity of keeping due diligence, although a school of thought has argued that due diligence might breed counter-productivity. It is, however, better to be counter-productive than having your entire organisation be at the mercy of hackers.”
“It is not just about keeping cyber hygiene, but also giving constant training on cybersecurity best practices to the entirety of your employees. As business operations gradually open, organisations should also practice “cyber distancing”, keeping away from suspicious requests and unverified information to avoid being hacked during this period.”, I urged.
Going by all these global developments, good and bad, occasioned by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, what stands out is the quality of resilience that characterises human beings. Though not yet at the fore-front of technological innovations and the like, Nigerians have proved to be highly adaptable in the face of unexpected changes. Look out for the concluding part.
Wishing all our amazing readers, a truly Happy New Year and remember we can only beat COVID-19 if we collectively obey laid down protocols. Stay safe!
ICT Clinic by CFA is published weekly in the Sunday Punch