Lagos Business School Academic Director and Faculty of Information Systems, Professor Olayinka David-West delivered her inaugural lecture at the Honeywell Auditorium of Pan-Atlantic University on Wednesday, February 19, 2020.
Titled ‘If I Build it, Will They Come?’, the 11th inaugural lecture of the University is in recognition of David-West’s appointment as a Professor of Information Systems in May 2019.
Vice-Chancellor of the PAU, Professor Juan Elegido introduced David-West to the audience by acknowledging her immense contributions to the University since she joined in June 2003. He also reeled out her achievements, some of which include her recognition in TechCabal’s TechWomenLagos, a series that profiled 50 women in Lagos’ technology ecosystem.
The lecture began with David-West reminiscing on her journey into Information Technology which started 30 years ago at TARA Systems Limited, her interest in research and development, and her sojourn into academia.
She went on to answer the thematic question, ‘If I Build it, Will They Come?’ by deconstructing it with explanatory insights from the human, technology and benefits perspectives. The human perspective included the producer (software developer, engineer, investor, maintenance service provider) and the buyer (individual, owner-manager, Chief Information Officer/IT Manager). The technology perspective encapsulates the products that are being built and the processes involved in building and maintaining them.
Concluding this section of the lecture, David-West opined that beyond adoption, technology deployment should deliver impact to the business and society. She explained this through the financial inclusion lens stating that providing digital financial services to the under-served is not just about economic performance for the provider, but also about addressing economic development gaps and risks arising from lack of access to formal financial services.
On her current research interest, David-West touched on the financial inclusion project that is at the core of the activities at the Sustainable and Inclusive Digital Financial Services (SIDFS) Initiative where she performs a pivotal role. Acknowledging the receipt of additional funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2019, she announced that the Initiative is building a DFS Observatory to mobilise private sector intervention entities and advocate for policies that enhance the DFS adoption by the unbanked poor.
David-West concluded the lecture by advocating for policies that “create, promote and support sustainable national digital transformation”.
She expressed gratitude to members of the audience, Professors Albert Alos, Juan Elegido and Enase Okonedo, and managers who have, over her 17 years at LBS, allowed her to test her theories and ideas.
The event closed with a cocktail session that allowed guests to network.