The fourth industrial revolution is occurring as we speak, fueled by the exponential growth in emerging technological breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.
The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production.
The Second used electric power to create mass production.
The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production.
Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. This has been fueled by the billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge.
Nigeria in the 4th Revolution
“The Nigerian Factor”, is a trite term used to describe the colossal failure in reaching certain milestones that should be ordinarily achievable. Other developing countries like China and India, have become contenders in the race for technological advancements. “India’s success in the IT service sector, and China’s in mass manufacturing over the last decade, have helped position both countries as rising superpowers.” (World Economic Forum)
Cost of Data
With 25 million Nigerians connected to the internet through mobile devices, the access to mobile phones will be increase accessibility significantly. However, the cost of data will affect productive use of the internet.
Nigeria has been ranked as the second worst nation in power supply as power drops to 3,851 megawatts, MW. Lack if electricity supply is the leading cause of economic stagnation in Nigeria. Small business owners will tell you that the cost of fuelling generators is a major recurrent expenditure that increases overheads, eating into profit margins.
This difficulty in accessing steady electricity will be a major obstacle for Nigerian youth who will need to spend significant amount of time online. Free learning platforms are available for literate individuals but without regular electricity, it will be impossible to bridge the digital divide.