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Nigeria has a bold vision of becoming one of the top twenty economies in the world by the year 2020, as per its ?Nigeria Vision 2020? strategy. Although currently 8th in the world in terms of population, the country ranks 41st in terms of GDP and 161st in terms of GDP per capita. But Nigeria is also a powerhouse on the African continent by virtue of its size and its vast oil wealth. How can this enormous potential be realized and what policies are needed to achieve this ambitious dream of economic growth and prosperity? The authors believe that the goal of becoming a top-twenty economy can only be achieved if Nigeria makes the transition to a new economy based on knowledge, productivity and innovation in order to be competitive in a 21st century context. Knowledge has always been central to development and nowadays is becoming truly global, accessible and democratic, through new technologies and means of communication. Countries such as Korea, India and the USA that can harness the power of new technologies nurture a cadre of knowledge workers that can push the productivity and innovation frontiers. Others that fail to do so remain mired in poverty.
To achieve Vision 2020, Nigeria needs to move beyond the stop-start development patterns of an oil-based economy to create a stable and prosperous base for a 21st century society built on a critical mass of knowledge workers. How can Nigeria prepare for this century and which areas must focus on to achieve the vision of a new Nigeria? This report seeks to answer these questions.