In a 2012 study of Jigawa, a poor state in the Northern part of Nigeria, the University of Portsmouth-based authors highlights the state government’s work on eGovernment as a strategy toward the advancement of ICT and economic development. The Nigerian government has been investing large amounts of their budget to advance their technological sector, and Jigawa is now seen as the “pacesetter” of eGovernment in Nigeria. As we discussed in class and have read in the Unwin readings, ICT promotes opportunities for development in the political, economic as well as socio-cultural sectors. The Nigerian government has begun to pave the way for ICT advancements by deregulating and privatizing the sector.
The Jigawa State government has created the targets of developing an average of 500 ICT professionals from 2010 to 2012 through local and overseas training, as well as the achievement of computerization of certain government operations such as payroll and financial management. We spoke in class about the digital divide between developing and developed countries, and one of the major goals of the Jigawa government is to bridge the digital divide between citizens with access and those without. While the Jigawa government has succeeded in reducing overhead costs with the eGovernment program and the establishment of over 30 computer-training centers, Nigeria is still “fighting to crawl… in the ICT race” (Kanya 7). Are there ways to speed up the advancement of the ICT sector, or is the digital divide between citizens and between countries something that will be nearly impossible to bridge? Read the full case study here.