Tijani supports Harrow on the need for technology transfer
Professor Harrow is right... returning or homecoming without
technological know-how and its availability would jeopardize efforts.
It could lead to frustration and another cycle of loss. But the
question is who provide the technology? What type of technology are we
talking about? Is the local situation (i.e. electricity supply, safety,
human resource, maintenance culture etc) congenial? Will it be another
avenue to create get rich quick for folks with the "right" connections?
Would African governments be sincere with the experts, or use them as a
tool to further their selfish purpose? There are many questions but few
satisfactory answers. I think the governments should be more proactive
and sincere in its quest for a technological transfer. First, the
"homefront" must be conducive to corporations willing to invest in
these countries. Second, African leaders must be good students of
history and learn from historical past and present in a global context.
Suffice it to say that they must change their nuances in dealing with
big corporations and representatives from the developed countries. They
can only do this if the "homefront" is secured; if all is well locally;
and if the governments are honest with the citizens (at least to
attract a roundtable meeting with the corporations or government
officials). I have never heard about CompUSA, IBM, Compaq etc opening up
an assembly plant in sub-Saharan Africa (I might be wrong). Another
important issue that African governments should address is spending
enough money on "good news". All that CNN, NBC, ABC etc are interested
is negative stuff. The Information Ministers must go beyond their cosy
and often too large, overpaid positions to being a superb public
relation/international officers of their countries. They need to be
goon image makers, not acquiring wealth at the expense of the citizens.
Technology transfer is achievable but the governments have a great
responsibility of making it happen in these countries.
Hakeem Ibikunle Tijani
Assistant Professor of History
Department of Social Sciences,
Henderson State University,