Thursday, September 22, 2005

Re: keeping the discussion going

Sure, rule of law and security of life and property cannot be ignored towards creating a successful commercial enterprise, nevertheless why is there break of law and insecurity of life and property?

Right, where are the goods(I’d also have it represent services for many reasons)that are going to be used to “create” this commerce or market for capital(ism) to venture on.Indeed there has to be the “compellation” or “realization” of existing financial system on the need for low interest loans, yea.

Now, I feel what is needed is not only technology that will leave the pages of doctoral thesis to the silicon-valley like Basement that churned the kind of Larry Elison, Bill Gates and various technology and bio-tech moguls of the 90s but indeed also technology that would leave the pages of ordinary lecture scripts or common textbooks in every common library to Obosi like “hut” that churned the kind of Friedrich Krupp, Henry Ford and various Engineering Moguls in the 19th Century!

India, China and Brazil as mentioned should only not be seen from the way they appear on the surface, these are countries that got themselves grounded in the so called old economy (Steel, Automobile, Railways, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, and Agriculture).
A Larry Elison or Bill Gates as was rightly stated, started to exist big time in the 1990’s almost a century after the Fords e.t.c. I mean such Larrys and Bills won’t have existed at any time without a solid Manufacturing backup.

As for entrepreneurs, they’ll exist where there is an enterprise. There’s enterprise where there’s goods. There’s goods where there’s manufacturing. There’s manufacturing where there’s man(female/male) and functional machines.

See where I’m driving at, nobody should think of escaping building engines and equipments and I don’t just mean prototypes, they must be rolling past factory band lines in its tens, hundreds and possibly thousands
Right and I’d like to know which entrepreneurs we mean here, do we mean international investors coming with capital, technology and every other resource?-that alone wouldn’t get any developing society to the desired economic zenith.
Or international investors coming with capital only? because there’s a developed intellectual society to invest in? – The developed intellectual society doesn’t exist and such investors are not coming- I submit.

Or is it indigenous Entrepreneurs we mean here ? then I’d say developing society is not devoid of entrepreneurs.. but as was rightly stated the kinds that set India, China and Brazil on the path of rapid economic development and stability is what is needed.

That/those kind(s) of entrepreneur(s) as I’d understand would have been and should be

1. yea, indigenous (one way or the other but at least one way) .

2. assured of a developed intellectual society to invest in.
1. and 3. confident of developing a developed intellectual team/group/society.

You see, developing society has wise, intelligent, clever and brilliant people, however all these attributes becomes developed with education(formal, informal, both) and discipline.

When I hear entrepreneurs I get the impression one can actually come with all the capital in the world to a Zimbabwe or an Angola or any country out here or in there, to manufacture (not assembly) automobiles and really would set up, it won’t because it can’t.

Those with ideas and academic qualification in developing society, there’d better be loads of them (it can only improve things).
t. rightly mentioned somewhere the importance of mass education. I’d want to mention there’d better be someone who had done, doing or wants to do something or with academic qualification in Manufacturing Engre-Tech, Specialist Welding Engre-Tech (with ones idea on welding as just roadsidewelding we’d possibly understand better when one tries to weld stainless steel or Aluminum)Casting and Foundry Engre-Tech. Plastic injection-Tech, Metallurgy (heat treatment Processes), Materials-Surface Engre-Tech and Design Engre.At least these key areas just have to be there.

You see, my vision is "a people" who have taken their development and taken their destiny in their heads; then possibly in their hearts and if it’s fine in their hands as well. I tell people "jokingly" that taking it in the hands is risky because the day the hands are gone yea, development and destiny vanishes and one is there to see and live in underdevelopment and without destiny, however when the head is gone then yea, underdevelopment or development, with or without destiny isn’t less important.

I have singled out automobile as a source which is one of the surest way to economic development(industrialization) and the Asian tigers realized this, so did India, Brazil and China(the other day I read that Chinese cars are gradually taking space around Victoria Island).An Automobile has hundreds of parts with each of them requiring its own Factory band lines for production.

Those Factories and band lines would provide the necessary development of any other industry that requires machines or mechanization, and then one can talk about industrialization. After now one can get to see why I earlier posted that there has to be focus on Engineering now specifically mechanical engineering and its specialist/diversified fields.

Build engines, mechanize and our agricultural problem are largely solved. Ogo rightly emphasized the need to put some focus on agriculture, correct, in my opinion it has to be mechanized agriculture that is the only agriculture I understand.
t. asked for the state of agriculture in naija; In my opinion the state of agriculture mirrors the state of mechanical engineering, if there are no engines, there’s no manufacturing, no steel mill after 30 years and $10Billion of effort, no turbines built, no basic industry (by my own terms) then that’s the state of mechanical engineering.

Mechanical Engineers have to seek and tell themselves the empirical truth. Then we’d require in every engineering field to do the same if they are haven’t. True is, mechanical engineering education “naija style” is not broad, complete, pure or empowering for any serious industrialization.

You see, I see three ways to start approaching the economic development (industrialization).

1. Top-Down approach: Some visionary, focused, intelligent, wise and disciplined leadership from the top government that’ll realize the need and how to achieve productivity, sadly the leadership has been… well let’s not discuss politics here, we’d possibly require t. to launch another Blog for that.But the mentality is that politicians see these things as “technology don go far, man no go ever fitcatchup or even get any levels”. That’s half truth and the rest is simply naive.

2. Bottom-Up Approach: A team/group or one person getting the knowledge or acquiring technology, source capital and every other key resource somewhere + the attributes as mentioned in 1. to get the ball rolling or rolling faster.

The third approach is obviously both, which would possibly see any society on rapid economic development.

I have specifically mentioned these 3 approaches to highlight the statement that FG doesn’t patronize or encourage Engr’s in naija may be true, however another statement I'd make is that the Engr’s have not made themselves patronized may also be true.

To address any 4.points summarized by t.

1. Affordable Universities- Right, affordability the way I understand means comfort in the fund-cost relationship (ya’ll know I ain’t an economist but let’s go ahead); fund(on the students part) and cost( On part of Uni(I’d include living expenses generally) ) Let’s assume cost is fixed at it’s maximum, the funds has to have a fixed point at a minimum that assures comfort (affordability).

Yea I’d just have to analyze it right here.The equilibrium basically shouldn’t be distorted irrespective of whether the two fixed points are varied or not. At best is to see how to ensure that the “cost maximum” is lowest and the “fund minimum” is highest.

a. The FG, StateG and Uni’s have to know who is and should be in charge of the Uni, who’s generating revenue and who’s disbursing and at which formula.

b. Students can go into some sponsorship agreement with Uni’s and vice-versa (this way Uni becomes readily affordable).

c. I’m aware students get stipends from them home state governors through them student associations (this can be encouraged).

Another approach is if one has to work, then focus on work for a year or thereabout, save up money then focus on Uni.

2. Cutting edge Vocational studies t. rightly asked if “vocational studies in secondary school are useful in practice, they're supposed to accomplish just this”
The truth is that I don’t know what the 3 inbetween the 6-3- and 4 educational system means and I will not know because I don’t want to know. In my opinion there should be a system that is channeled through to SS3 without break.
Infact I hear it’s now smooth ride from 6 to JSS1 so more like 9-3-4 or so anyway, In my opinion any vocational study that makes sense to me has to start after SS3, I mean there has to be a sort of yea as it is with jamb, polyjamb, college of education entrance exam, theeeeeen there has to be an entrance exam into vocational studies (depending on which one) as well, infact even trading should have entrance exam and traders should have trading qualification certificates, yeees (that would keep some people out of there and in somewhere they should/could be).

Other vocational studies one should remember are formally trained electonics technicians, machinist, welders (stainless steel and alluminum), fitters, and every other technician required to get grounded in the key areas of manufacturing engineering.
Many other vocations including hairdressing, barbing, capentery, sowing, name them... they must all begin after SS3.

Robotic technicians (automatisierungstechniker) has it’s market in any serious manufacturing, shippbuilding and any other serious welding construction project. There’s also market for Biotech technicians in national and multinational research organization, there shall be more market when there is manufacturing somewhere, however bio-tech exports to Europe is coool. Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is doing fine, she got India on bio-tech map.

I guess points 3. 4. and 5. have been responded to however I want to highlight on 4. A key educational investment is to get well grounded in mechanical engineering education including its diversified/specialists fields.Engineering qualification or not, I believe it’s only when one engineers or is engineering that technology is born. The transformation of science to technology is engineering.

As I gradually wind up this post, people, get me right; remember or go through the statement on my vision, understand what I understand as the entrepreneur one requires or should be and realize why I’m driving on every mechanical engineering.
The day indigenous driven quality products starts to be churned out in that country, economists would have a larger economy, business administrators would have larger businesses, accountants would have larger accounts to keep, people would enjoy good music, there would be many very healthy people and they would pass on to their eternal/new life haven lived!


t said...

Dear umc:

your post should be subtitled Mechanical Engineering is the answer. I'm feeling your passion and your vision. Totally.
You know we'll be talking about this for a very long time to come, and taking action too of course.

My quick comments for now:
in your response to 2. I will like to clarify that I also think getting everyone through to SS3 is a necessary policy goal. But I think the vocational studies in JSS could be made stronger, more fantastic, more relevant by some simple curriculum changes. (which leads to how one can introduce biotech, or machining, or more advanced information technology at an early stage. this is not incredibly radical, since we already had classes in the 1990s to teach woodwork or metalwork.)

I'm also curious to know how vocational education works in Germany. Do you have a short description (or a link to a source?) I'm not proposing that Germany has it all right (from what I hear, many Germans appreciate the faster pace in the US, the freedom, and the focus on results and applications, and I can appreciate the more deeply grounded education of the Germans as compared to the Americans.) Also do you have an opinion on what aspects of the German system would be good for us and what aspects are not so healthy?

In the meantime, we need some folks to invest in cutting-edge high speed INTERNET so that our 13 year olds can have access to the same mind-broadening games (e.g. sodaplay) and information (e.g. wikipedia, streaming video) as others. Otherwise, they'll grow up having memorized a lot of things but sorely behind on whatever the world outside their country is up to. We need modern information technology very desperately. If we don't get in the game, our citizens won't get practice on things like developing solutions for internet security, getting machines to do large computational tasks, or even on internet politics and real democracy.
I wonder who would undertake this?

Thanks a lot for your post. I still have to re-read it a few times and look up some of the leads you mentioned, esp. on the Indian biotech leader you named.

t said...

Re: Recipes for...
Recipes for Economic Development

rweba said...

Nice post! I am feeling your passion.

I will try to respond when I get a chance to digest it fully.

t said...

Top-down approach: the Chinese apparently get this right. If we're lucky, we'll someday have worthy policymakers in Nigeria. But Nigeria isn't China; most educated Nigerians are less willing to trust "leaders." Who would blame them?

Bottom-up approach: that's the point of MONEY TALK. Empowered people. I think that empowered people have a different formula for creating change than umc has written: "As for entrepreneurs, they’ll exist where there is an enterprise. There’s enterprise where there’s goods. There’s goods where there’s manufacturing. There’s manufacturing where there’s man(female/male) and functional machines."
Financiers will exist only when there is enterprise. Entrepreneurs create enterprise. They exist wherever there is a problem to be solved. Developing countries have a lot of problems = a lot of opportunity.

Biggest problems in Nigeria
1. Too many super-thieves. We need an Eliot Spitzer, some beast that would succeed in punishing these elite thieves, making mass embezzlement less attractive to others. Volunteers? Maybe we can borrow Sptizer, even?
2. None. I think that's the big one.
We have a lot of smaller problems, which folks need to get to work on (hint!) - and empowering education is one of them. Getting involved in technology is one. Financing the worthiest enterprise is one (we need to stop pissing money on those big never-ending, no-direction projects.) and so on.

t said...

t wrote: "Biggest problems in Nigeria
1. Too many super-thieves. We need an Eliot Spitzer..."
It looks like we have one.
Mallam Nuhu Ribadu chairs the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

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