The Impact Of Information Communication Technology On Foreign Policy Making In Nigeria
This study was carried out to examine the impact of information communication technology on foreign policy making in Nigeria. Specifically, the study examine the relationship between information communication technology and foreign policy making in Nigeria. The study also inquire the level of impact of ICT on Nigeria foreign policy. The study further identify constraints that militates against the application of ICT in foreign policy making in Nigeria. Lastly, the study recommend measure for reducing or eliminating these constraints. The study employed the historical survey research design. The findings of the study revealed that there is no relationship between information communication technology and the development of Nigerian foreign policy. The study hereby recommend that the use of modern IT should be simplify in a way that will structured tasks such as decision making and communications, which are greatly interactive with environments and related to human problems.
1.1 Background of the Study
The recent advances in information communication technology (ICT) especially on the aspect of foreign policy making are becoming central to other processes, such as socio-economic and political development of nation states and how nations relate to each other. ICT offers new ways of exchanging information and transacting business and new style of interaction between countries, change the nature of financial and other service sectors and provides efficient use of human and institutional capabilities of countries in both the public and private sector especially on the field of foreign policy information communication technology (ICT) and vast improvement in aviation technology and other things, have reduced the distance between states, which enhances the opportunity for foreign policy maker to communicate directly. Infact, ICT has changed the way nation states relate to each other. Prior to the second world war II, diplomacy was the sole responsibility of the ambassadors they are often the representatives of their respective state, but today, head of state can now directly communicate through, telephone, fax, internet, in order to discuss and iron out differences or negotiate differences which ambassadors cannot command.
As it is well known, diplomacy is looked upon as the use of political influence to induce other states to exercise their law making powers in the manner defined by the state command and the task of diplomacy include among, other things, routine representation, arbitration, negotiation and projection of common and political interest of the country. This task is today highly facilitated by the existence and application of ICT. Today ICT has penetrated almost all desirable domestic instruments of foreign policy making of the country, in otherword’s for effective application of either economic, diplomacy, military or cultural instrument or both, the use of ICTS is imperative, in addition to all other aspects of human development especially as it relates to foreign policy making.
The world today is rapidly moving towards knowledge based on economic structures and information societies, which comprise network of individuals, policy makers, firms and countries that are linked electronically and inter-dependent relationships. Today the competitive and comparative advantages of countries are gradually being determined by access of ICT and knowledge for the pursuit of national interest.
Information Communication Technology (ICT) has aided foreign policy makers such as diplomats, chief executives of ministry of foreign affairs in various capacity of foreign policy making. It also aids them to understand and explain decision-making process and relationship with the bureaucracy, their power centers on pressure group in the formulation and execution of foreign policy of the country.
The numerous advantages for the adaptation of ICT in foreign policy decision and in other segment of human development are endless. This by implication means that, foreign policy makers and other segment of the economy in developing nations cannot but be aware of the trends in ICT as employed by other countries of the world.
Therefore, Nigeria foreign policy would be looked upon from its principled objective of promoting and protecting the country’s national interest and its interaction with the outside world and its relationship with other countries in the international system among other objectives. Therefore, ICT serve as a critical and crucial element to the Nigeria foreign policy decision makers.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
v Information is said to be central in foreign policy making and analysis. Most countries today both developed and developing have expectedly paid significant attention to the development of ICT more especially in the conduct and salesmanship of their respective national interest. The issue at stake, does ICT make any positive impact on foreign policy making? That is whether the importance of ICT is recognized and applied in Nigeria foreign policy making. The research seeks to determine the aims, objectives, achievements and constraints of ICT in Nigeria quest to join in the race for technological development to pursue a dynamic foreign policy in line with trends of globalization, market liberation, and foreign relations.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective is to investigate the role of information communication technology in information dissemination on Nigeria foreign policy.
Other objectives include:
- To examine the relationship between information communication technology and foreign policy making in Nigeria.
- To inquire the level of impact of ICT on Nigeria foreign policy.
- To identify constraints that militates against the application of ICT in foreign policy making in Nigeria.
- To recommend measure for reducing or eliminating these constraints
1.4 Theoretical Framework
In line with the tradition in new political science and international relations of borrowing perspectives and frame of reference from various disciplines a number of writes, such as Nobert wiener, Karl W. Deutsch among a number of have developed a new approach in political analysis especially on the aspect of international relation on the basis of communication theory and cybernetics. The communication theory, as it is called, looked at the task of government and politics in the scene of process of steering and coordinating human efforts toward the attainment of a set of goal within this general frame work, here decision is taken to be the central mechanism through which this process manifests itself.
Communication theory as an idea was put forward by Nobert wiener in the 1940s wiener, noted an advancement in information transfer through electronic process or processes such as radar, solar etc. however, the application of communication theory in international politics especially on international relations was develop and popularized by Karl Deutsch and according to him cybernetics that is the science of communication and control which represent a shift in the center of interest from drive to steering when applying to politics this means an emphasis to decision, control, and communication rather than power which are without the doubt been the primary and at the same time exclusive interest of political scientist.
This theory tries to treat the government as a decision making system based on various information flows. Here Deustch (Leiber 1973) introduced two basic concepts, the concept relating to operating structure under this concept, there is receptor or receptor systems, as
Deutsch like to call them. Political system receives information from domestic as well as foreign. Here the notion of reception covers several functions beyond the simple intake of those information’s like scanning operations, selection of information, data processing, etc here what Deutsch is trying to explain is the way and nature under which information is process for processing the incoming information within the decision-making upon by the structures representing memory, value complexes and the entire apparatus. Information are handled and acted environment itself which make actual decisions.
The second category of concepts, dealing with flows and processes is perhaps even more important. Information being a patterned set information flows which together for a communication network, this involve several kinds of other concepts. Particularly of channels, load and load capacity. Load capacity is determine by the numbers and types of channels available for infirm flow, while bad relates to the overall intake of information at any given time.
In political system loads vary substantially over time as well as differ significantly in quality. Here Deutsch went further to specify a number of other factors to which load capacity is very intimately related, such as responsiveness, fidelity background, noise and distortion. It is also important to note that the communication system is capable of associating, locating and bringing forward past experience that are relevant to the analysis of the incoming information. This has been described as the notion of recall. There is also as combination capacity which Deutsch affirmed that, this is a situation which a wide range of information inputs is such a way to make and implement decision with positive consequences for the attainment of goals, it therefore follows, that political system specially the aspect of international relation according to the communication theory can be studied as networks of communication channels and we may even be in such a way as to reach this goals. Deutsch claimed unless the governments are receiving continue flows of information regarding the distance between their original situation and the objective or the goal by wish to attain, the distance between their present position and the goal, and the extent to which their effort to reach the goal succeed, which today is made possible with the advert of information communication technology and its related trends.
The frame work of the communication theory went further to included four quantitative factors in this analysis as follows; information load, lag and gain. For the purpose of this study we shall concentrate on the load factors, which Deutsch refers as the ability of an organization to predict the future state of the environments. So as to make an effective way of anticipating the necessary adjustment in the advancement of humanity, In other words the decision makers of a political system must therefore attempt to take into consideration and also predict some discussion that may be favourable to the environment, that is the most important future of political system which have its own capacity to keep up with the changing environment.
At this point it is important to know that communication approach can aid foreign policy decision maker among other groups to be able to judge the capacity of a political system more accurately in terms of control its exercises over the entire political process, the ability with which it is able to maintain conditions necessary of its goal.
Furthermore the communication theory has its ability of providing to the state the capacity of changing its goals and learning by experience the concept of goal changing feed back and learning. A political system therefore has the opportunity to change its goal deliberately when ever it is needed. Goals are dynamic not static therefore changes in the cultural pattern and personality structure of the political elite may bring about changes in the goals sought by a political decision system.
From the aforementioned analysis the communication approach provides significant insight into the dynamic of foreign policy. Indeed movement in the international system flow from hundreds of decision made by government and non-government institutions and enterprises around the world which are often derived flows of timely information is should not therefore forget that the approach emphases primarily on decision making as a process and not so much on the results or consequences of decision. This theory concentrate upon national decision process so as to determine what influence or shape relations between state’. This study therefore adopt this approach as its theoretical frame work due to its viability and relevant in foreign policy making in Nigeria as elsewhere in the globe.
1.5 Research Hypothesis Assumptions
A hypothesis is a tentative answer put forward by a researcher as the expected answer to research problem or question. It’s called tentative answer because the answer is put forward even before the researcher goes into the field to collect data. In this study, the researcher put forward the following hypothesis to serve as a guide for this work
HO: There is relationship between information communication technology and the development of Nigerian foreign policy
1.6 Research Methodology
This research work rely heavily on secondary sources of data. Data is collected from books, journals, research thesis and dissertations, internet, conference papers, daily newspaper and weekly magazines. Data is also drawn from radio and television programs. The information gathered from the materials will be presented, reviewed and analysed using integrated method of data analysis based on and to achieve the purpose of the research.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This research work is aimed at aiding Nigerian as a nation state to forge ahead in her quest for socio-economic development, reduce poverty, un-employment and raise the country’s stature from an economic dependent country to an economic independent nation, through the used of ICT.
It also aimed to improve on Nigeria’s conduct of foreign policy decisions and to improve Nigerians status and relevance in international politics, by show casing Nigeria economic potentials, culture, tradition etc. it would also serve as a springboard to foreign policy makers in their quest to pursue a dynamic foreign policy in line with the present area of globalization, through the acquisition of relevant modern ICT facilities, and to add value or contribution to existing knowledge in the dynamic of foreign policy making, in the present information technology age. To reap from the expected gains of ICT especially in the aspect of the economic which is identify as a powerful instrument in the pursue of national interest of states, through embracing all relevant ICT facilities and purse and adopting all necessary policies.
1.8 Scope and Limitation
The geographical coverage of this study is Nigerian as a nation state. While its content focused on the discussion of the impact of information, communication technology in policy making between 1999 and 2014 because this is the time when democracy come to stay in Nigeria state. In so doing the focus will be how information communication technology is applied in retrieving storing and dissemination of information and how this information is communicated and made available to Nigeria foreign policy makers. However, by virtue of the uniqueness of this research work, i envisaged the: problem for data collection may be a hindrance for this work, this is due to the fact that, the ministry in-charge of making foreign policy decisions as a matter of policy do not divulged information easily couple with the existence of bureaucratic bottle necks which makes access to data from these offices difficult. The human factor is also a hindrance for accurate information retrieval i.e. the interviewer are often sceptical in giving out the true position of things as regard to their official positions regardless of the fact that names identities are often not mentioned. In addition the issue of limited resources and time factor is a hindrance that make this research work to be limited to Nigeria.
1.9 Definition of Terms
For the purpose of this study the following terms are to be used. Thus,
- Communication technology
- Foreign policy.
For the purpose of this work the study adapted menou’s definition of impact which is referred to as a process that causes transformation of a phenomenon both positive and negative aspect of it.
Can be define as the knowledge that was unknown to the receiver prior to its receipt, while in a related development Michael (1989) viewed the term as the support information system (computerized and manual) within an organization and those releasing out to customer and suppliers.
Newton defined ICT to includes all the totality of a communication system which involves all the equipment which must be connected together in order to send receive information such as computer, fax, television, radio, in focus projector, digital camera, telephone.
Is define as system of activities enforced by community for changing the behaviour of other states and for adjusting their norm to the international environment while Thomas Schelling define it as complicated and disorderly different to predict, full of surprises, demanding parts choice that must be base on judgment rather than analysis taking place in a world that changes rapidly which memory and experiences are likely out of data, foreign policy project the image of a country.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
In this study, our focus was on the impact of information communication technology on foreign policy making in Nigeria using federal ministry of communications Abuja as a case study.The study specifically was aimed at highlighting the relationship between information communication technology and foreign policy making in Nigeria, inquire the level of impact of ICT on Nigeria foreign policy, identify constraints that militates against the application of ICT in foreign policy making in Nigeria, and recommend measure for reducing or eliminating these constraint. A total of 77 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from staff of ministry of communications.
Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:
There is no relationship between information communication technology and the development of Nigerian foreign policy.
Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:
The use of modern IT should be simplify in a way that will structured tasks such as decision making and communications, which are greatly interactive with environments and related to human problems.
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