By 2030, Nigeria wants to send an astronaut into space. You would have thought with all the problems it has here on the ground — from a shrivelling economy to rampant Boko Haram terrorists — conquering the final frontier would be the last thing on the government’s mind. Yet in Nigeria, as in several other African countries, space technology is moving up the policy agenda.
Unfortunately, space technology cannot leapfrog earthly problems. Without functioning institutions, good primary and secondary schools and decent hospitals, development will remain a chimera. Prestige projects can certainly be a diversion or an opportunity for graft.
Nigeria should get serious and focus on this it has control over. We need to fix earthly problems before these terrestrial challenges!