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Focusing on IT Regions and Cities

Every Unwealthy Nation is Unwealthy in its Own Way

State and regional efforts toward economic development and creating innovation are often as important as national initiatives. We're starting to examine some of these with the same eye we've been taking for the past two years with national environments.

This is not to diminish the importance of a healthy national environment for technology and economic development; the best local or regional program will wither on the vine if a nation's roots have gone bad.

On the other hand, strong local and regional programs can serve as beacons to attract talent and investment to their home countries, even if the national picture is not so pretty.

Three areas in the developing world spring to mind: Gauteng (South Africa), Lagos State (Nigeria) and New Wave Cities (Philippines). All have higher income levels than the countries in which they reside; all are driven in part by governmental commitments.

I'm most familiar with the latter of the three, the New Wave Cities program. This is something developed by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP); it lists different cities each year, located in the three major regions of the country (Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao).

But recently I've been in touch with some of the folks behind the program in Lagos State to focus on technology and innovation in a massive country that is giving it the good fight to emerge from the middling ranks of developing nations into a global leader this century.

Our research covers the globe - 102 countries so far in every region and economic tier - and we will be examining specific regions and cities of the spectrum of nations that we cover.

But I do enjoy traveling in developing nations to see and feel what's going on. To paraphrase Tolstoy, wealthy nations are all alike, every unwealthy nation is unwealthy in its own way. Our research aims to uncover the diamonds in the rough among those unwealthy nations, and watch them as they fight to improve their economies and the lives of their people.

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More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.