Africa and Information Technology
A Broader look at Africa and Information Technology
Africa’s presence in the world of computers is expanding quickly in the computer era. Nowadays, computer science and information technology are taught in almost all African schools. Few Africans had access to computers or the internet just 15 years ago. However, the number of internet and computer users in Africa has increased dramatically during the last ten years. Today, computers can be found all throughout Africa. Fast broadband connections are now available in every African nation, which is fantastic. Only a small number of students in Africa had computers in their dorms around ten years ago, but today practically all university students in that continent have access to free or private laptops with internet access. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology.
Today, almost all secondary and higher education institutions in Africa have web-enabled computer labs that give students free access to the internet. There are now internet cafés and internet kiosks all throughout Africa, so even individuals who cannot buy a computer may use the internet. These facilities are not just for students as in India. There are internet cafés that link rural regions to the rest of the globe, even in little communities in Africa.
Africans are extremely prevalent on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media platforms. Consider Facebook as an example. There are around 11 million Facebook members in Egypt alone (Egypt is currently among the 25 countries with the most Facebook users worldwide). South Africa, which is among the top 25 nations with the most Facebook users, has about 7 million members as well. As we are all aware, Nigerians are very prevalent online. Online users from Ghana, Kenya, Gambia, Senegal, Togo, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Libya, Morocco, Ethiopia, Liberia, Tanzania, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are in great numbers. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology. In other words, Africa is advancing into the realm of information technology and the internet, which is wonderful.
As we are all aware, there are many advantages and disadvantages to the internet, and Africa is no exception. Africa has benefited greatly from the internet, which also makes it easier for Africa to be connected to the rest of the world. African students may use the internet to undertake research, communicate with other students and professors online, and generally broaden their knowledge. In other words, the internet is a fantastic vehicle for bridging the global divide between Africa and Africans. However, as we all know, there are a number of issues and drawbacks associated with utilising the internet, and Africa is by no means exempt from these issues, just like every other continent on the planet. Today, there are “adult” things for kids almost wherever you go online, all of which help undermine moral norms in our communities. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology.
The internet aids in the transmission of false information as well as accurate information in Africa. It is quite simple to launch a revolution in the modern world owing to Youtube, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and other social networking sites, as we have seen in North Africa and the Middle East. Like wildfire, information travels quickly, occasionally sparing even the innocent, and Africa, like every other continent, is by no means exempt. “Africa is the final ‘blue ocean’ for technology, the prospects here are huge,” tweeted Erik Hershman, co-founder of Ushahidi. Why would you pick a different place?
With a population of 1.5 billion, more and more technology businesses are realising the enormous potential of African markets. A technologically advanced nation like Singapore is also staking its upcoming businesses on the large unexplored market of the continent. A windfall for investors, even undeveloped businesses like mobile casinos and internet casinos are exhibiting definite signs of development in Africa. As venture capital companies view Africa as a fresh wave of development and opportunity with the ability to catch up to Asia, it has been the focus of Singapore’s startup movement. Let’s go into more depth about the technology environment in Africa. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology.
Why Africa has such Huge Potential in Technology?
Mobile is the future
Cell phone use and ownership have increased across Africa during the past ten years. Additionally, roughly two-thirds of families in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a Gallup study, have at least one cell phone. It comes as no surprise that the usage of mobile computing to meet our many requirements, including communication, gaming, social media entertainment, payments, search, and more, is expanding tremendously. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology. Even now, many people choose to take notes electronically rather than physically.
According to the Pew Research Center, “the growth of cellular networks revolutionised communications in sub-Saharan Africa in only a few short years. Additionally, it has made it possible for Africans to bypass the fixed-line development stage and enter the digital era right away. In other words, Africa has essentially moved past the PC age and is currently experiencing the mobile revolution. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology. Most of the globe is ahead of the USA, the most developed country in the world, in terms of mobile telecommunications. Countries like China (population > 1.25 billion) and Africa (population > 1.5 billion) have an advantage over other nations when it comes to creating mobile solutions.
Huge investments in African technology
According to Next Africa, “In Africa, technology is evolving beyond social enterprises or narrow business propositions. Trade, health, education, economics, government, and creative culture are just a few areas where the technological advancement of the continent will be felt. This dynamic technological ecosystem will keep making useful use of Africa’s markets, population, and potential while helping to bring this continent from the economic periphery of the world into the digital mainstream. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology.
After the first surge in the development of enterprise-focused apps in the late 1990s, investment in domestic US enterprises is now declining for the first time in history. When seen in the context of Africa, a similar pattern emerges, and Silicon Valley and Telecom VCs make up the majority of investment. According to President of the African Development Bank Adesina, “The individuals who control the data will govern Africa. All levels should have coding requirements. Encryption will serve as the future money. We must democratise technology, he said. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology. “We must grab the potential… Information technology shouldn’t be an exclusive luxury of the wealthy. Tech has to be made more accessible. Africa has to get ready. We already possess digital technologies like artificial intelligence, big data analytics, blockchain, and 3D printing.
Professor of Digital Business at Wits Business School, Dr. Brian Armstrong, claims that South Africa is heading toward the fourth industrial revolution. The ramifications for employment, new types of employment, and new forms of collaboration between employers and workers must be understood, he continued.
The government intends to establish an extra coding and coding college with co-creation workplaces in order to establish South Africa as the largest digital hub in Africa. Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu declared: “My department, in cooperation with the Department of Telecoms and Postal Services, has launched a dialogue to establish the greatest technology in Africa through the Small Business Development Agency (SEDA)…” The programme was created with the idea that the country has an advantage over other ICT sectors represented on the continent thanks to its GDP, productivity, and income per capita. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology.
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos this year, you should discuss technological trends as well as Africa, since some of the most significant breakthroughs in the world are currently taking place there. Two frequent misconceptions are debunked by Africa’s acceptance of technology: that technical advancements only occur in wealthy nations and that the continent must first develop its infrastructure before adopting high-tech solutions. African companies are embracing technology to develop these fundamental services and more. In Africa more than everywhere else in the world, technology—particularly mobile services and applications—improves people’s lives. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology. The continent has grabbed the chance to exceed current technology and establish itself as a worldwide leader in the provision of such services despite having relatively little fixed telephony infrastructure.
Use Ushahidi as an illustration. When post-election violence in Kenya broke out in 2008, a group of local IT specialists put up a system for receiving reports through the internet or mobile phones and made real-time maps of the occurrences to highlight what was happening, when, and where. Ushahidi, which in Swahili means “testimony,” has developed into a global non-profit organisation and given rise to Nairobi’s iHub technology cluster seven years later. 150 tech firms were started by Ushahidi, who also added more than 1,000 employment. It has altered the connection between individuals and their governments and offered affordable answers to pressing societal issues. Mobile applications and services were created by Africans for Africans and beyond, and they have helped millions of people succeed by making information on market pricing, the weather, health, and even excellent agricultural techniques easily available. For reporting thefts by foreign fishing vessels in their seas, fishing villages in Sierra Leone have employed a mix of cell phones and GPS-enabled cameras. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology.
Numerous of these systems fail to close apparent service gaps. African farmers, for instance, require improved data access, which calls for the construction of weather stations with more efficiency. For instance, Esoko’s agricultural information service can give farmers in Ghana access to meteorological information, indicating the necessity for weather agencies to collaborate with the private sector. The shortage of energy is one barrier to technological advancement in Africa. While cell phones must be charged and cell towers require energy, some 620 million Africans lack access to electricity. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology. The theme of this year’s Africa Progress Report, which will be presented in June by the Africa Progress Panel headed by Kofi Annan, will be energy access, a hindrance to social and economic advancement throughout the continent.
However, technology itself is assisting in removing obstacles to energy since Africa is a continent of innovation and creativity. Off-grid energy is expanding quickly. Across the continent, solar-powered phone chargers are becoming more and more prevalent. The use of technology could also help Africa overcome yet another roadblock to development. Successful domestic savings to investment conversion helped East Asian nations make the transition to middle-income status. But up until now, Africa has mostly fallen short in this area. Banks serve as the main point of contact for savers in the majority of the world. However, there aren’t many bank branches in Africa, especially in rural regions, and the great majority cannot afford banking fees.
So how might Africa tap into its own savings? Peer-to-peer lending, eliminating intermediaries and retail banking, and even outperforming current business models are all made possible by technology. Another intriguing option is paying with a mobile device. In Africa, just 25% of individuals have access to a bank account, yet 75% do. M-PESA, a mobile payment system used in Kenya, has paved the way. Africa’s future is tech business and information technology. M-PESA has allowed 15 million Kenyans to transfer and receive money online in only six years. Currently, 86% of Kenyan households claim to utilise M-PESA. Microinsurance health insurance, which enables users to pay for health insurance using M-PESA, is a potential spinoff.
Many of the most interesting breakthroughs in Africa in recent years have relied heavily on technology. Be wary of burgeoning pan-African social media networks that aim to compete with the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. One such platform is Mara Online. The debates in Davos serve as an example of how quickly future societies will change as a result of new technology. However, Nairobi is already the scene of the action.
About the Author
Ahsan Azam is the author who specializes in avionics as well as research writing. The author has a keen attention to detail and is focused on providing interesting content to the readers.
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