Digitalising Public Administration for Sustainable Development The Nigerian Experience

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Dr A. G. Umar Kari
Ismail H. Mshelia


Digitalisation, technology, development, SDG, Africa


Since their independence from colonial rules in the late 1950s and early 1960s, most countries in African continent have been sleepwalking in developmental realm due to a myriad of human security threats including internal conflicts, military dictatorships, public sector corruption and generational poverty among others. Consequently, the continent, in sharp contrast to others, failed to achieve some of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the comity of nations at the turn of the 21st century. As all the African states pledged unwavering commitment to achieving other sets of global goals—the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set in 2015, —concerns over their actual capacity to achieve them by the target year (2030) are being raised. This is because they not only epitomise most of the challenges being confronted but also lag far behind in the global race for digitalisation, precipitated by 21st century digital revolution and widely regarded as an essential driver in governments efforts towards achieving national objectives. Using desk review of secondary data, this paper examines the instrumentality of digital technologies to the achievement of sustainable development in Africa, with specific reference to Nigeria. The SDGs serve as the basis for the analysis while system theory, emancipatory realism and Digital Era Governance model among other scholarly and expert perspectives provide reasoned lines of explanation. The paper concludes that digital technology is an indispensable mechanism to the achievement of sustainable development. It recommends that while curbing corruption and insecurity are considered Nigeria’s developmental priority, digital technologies should be used to accelerate their achievement and other lofty ideals.


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