Can digital services replace the manufacturing sector?
Can tech grow the economy, Stears

For most of President Buhari's eight-year tenure as president of Nigeria, he was pretty confident that the path to Nigeria's revolutionary growth was agriculture. He asked the youth to return to the farms and even attempted to bring back cattle grazing routes. 

Farming (subsistence farming) was his master plan to raise 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. It's not a far-fetched idea to be fair. After all, agriculture reform in China formed the foundation for the Asian country's rapid growth and development. As we will soon see though, the real secret sauce for meaningful growth comes from a different part of the economy—manufacturing.


Key Takeaways:

  • Historically, manufacturing has been the secret to structural growth in countries. It is what made the US and Britain large economies and responsible for China's 20x economic growth in 40 years. 

  • However, given how much manufacturing has changed in recent times due to innovation and countries' response to global supply chain disruptions, the digital ecosystem might be a more guaranteed route to success than manufacturing. 

  • Like manufacturing, the technology sector has a potential for large (and productive) employment, export and spillover effects to other sectors. Therefore it is a strong contender for growth in emerging economies. 


Going by many theories of development and history, one way to achieve economic development is by exiting agriculture and becoming an industrial superpower. One of the most prominent ideas to support this is Rostow's stages of growth theory which says that for a country to grow, it needs to move from dedicating a significant portion of its capital and labour from agriculture to manufacturing and then services. 

Manufacturing made Britain a world superpower during the first industrial revolution. The US became

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Gbemisola Alonge

Gbemisola Alonge

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