• News - North West - Kano
  • Updated: March 02, 2024

Dangote advocates knowledge-based economy for Nigeria

Dangote advocates knowledge-based economy for Nigeria

Aliko Dangote, Africa's richest man and head of the Dangote Group, has called for Nigeria to transition from a resource-based to a knowledge-based economy.

He made the recommendation in a pre-convocation lecture he delivered as part of activities lined up for the 38th convocation of the Bayero University, Kano (BUK) on Friday 

Dangote, who was represented by the Group Executive Director of the Dangote conglomerate, Engineer Mansur Ahmed emphasized the "tremendous benefits" of a knowledge economy, citing South Korea, India, China, and the "Asian tigers" as successful examples.

He quoted a World Bank publication by Ismail Radwan and Giulia Pellegrini, stating that "harnessing knowledge for development is not a new concept" and can significantly impact a nation's prosperity.

"Knowledge economy is not just about establishing high-tech industries and creating an innovative and entrepreneurial culture," Dangote said. 

"Simply adopting existing technologies widely available in developed countries can dramatically boost productivity and economic growth.”

Dangote cited the World Bank's recommendations for Nigeria's transition. 

According to the business mogul, for Nigeria to make the transition to a knowledge economy, it must pay attention to the business environment, education & skills, innovation systems and information communication infrastructure. 

He emphasized the need for a "conducive business environment" encouraging the use of existing knowledge. 

He highlighted the potential of government research institutions and their accumulated knowledge, citing examples of new agricultural seed varieties not yet widely adopted.

"There are many government research institutions and the existing knowledge gathered over the years can be put into use by firms. Agricultural research institutes have produced new varieties of seeds, legumes and others that are being cultivated in small quantities. 

in their demonstration farms. This is where the government should come in with incentives for firms that would make use of these new varieties," he said. 

Dangote further encouraged government intervention in insisting that firms and businesses apply existing knowledge in their operations, referencing the success of the GSM operator auction and its impact on the communications sector.

He stressed the importance of supporting youth with a passion for technology by "expanding entrepreneurship facilities and hubs." 

Additionally, he advocated for educational reforms prioritizing skill development over "paper qualification" and including talks by "innovators, founders of businesses, and creators.”

The pre-convocation lecture was attended by dignitaries including Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin and BUK Vice Chancellor Prof. Sagir Abbas. 

The convocation ceremony, saw 11,284 students graduate, with honorary doctorates awarded to Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, and Senator Barau Jibrin.

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