Francis Madojemu, the head of Nigeria’s iBridgeHub and initiator of iCODE has called for a shift in the technology paradigm in Africa. According to him, the continent needs to understand how to speak the language of technology and not just remain consumers of products made elsewhere.
“Computer has got to speak to us, we also have to speak to the computer in order to accomplish things,” he said.
He added: “A lot of people know about Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. But unfortunately, they only know about the finished products and not how the products were developed.”
Madojemu’s organization through its iCODE initiative is introducing children to the basics of coding.
“We are just trying to introduce people to the behind-the-scenes of the technology that is running the world today so that they can apply it and use it to change the world,” he said.
On the reason they are focusing on the children, he said the goal is to invest in their future in order to fill the vacuum that current exists in Nigeria and the world.
“There is a huge need for people with such understanding in the world, talk less of Nigeria. Even the Computer Society of Nigeria (COSON) has revealed that we have the problem of lack of people who can code and understand how to build technology you can apply,” he said.
According to him, technology does not discriminate based on color or race as long as the right instruction is given.
He said: “When are we going to start having technology we can speak Yoruba to? Computer is not discriminatory; it doesn’t care if you are white or black, Yoruba or Igbo. If you give it what it needs it will give you back what you asked for.”