Technology is shaping the future of the entire world. If the West is already accustomed to the comforts that come out of our high-tech gadgets, other regions are far more inventive when it comes to the smart use of technologies. Africa is having its own small techno boom. While many locals are tempted to move to the United States or Europe and pursue education or set their start-ups there, others are riding the popularity of technology at home, benefiting from the increasing interest in solutions that make life easier for the people on the continent.
Microsoft has recently invested in Nigeria and Kenya, deciding to scale its operations on the continent while targeting its customers better and working to identify their specific needs. Africa is definitely not behind in terms of contributions when it comes to the world of technology.
Even though many of the people who make breakthroughs do it in the West, people like Professor Oyekunle Olukotun have played an instrumental role in developing such staples of today’s tech-dominated world as the multi-core processor. This makes us take an even closer look at the potential challenges that technology can quickly sort out in Africa.
Building a Cashless Africa – Not a Myth
Places in Africa have often been dominated by corruption. One way to address corrupt government officials and even everyday state functionaries is to centralize the entire system and create cashless payment the norm. In many countries in Africa, this has already been happening, with people learning how to make mobile payments and opening their first bank account at the same time. Similar events have transpired in India as well.
While Europeans are still hesitant about paying by card, for example, Africans are slowly realizing that this is a sure-fire way to avoid being cheated and to keep ill-meaning individuals and organizations at bay. Cashless is not meant just as a way to fight corruption, though. There are other upsides to leverage here.
There are inherent benefits to switching to a cashless economy, such as eliminating the need to carry money long with yourself in any physical form other than cash. A cashless economy will be fully-regulated and managed through conventional channels, and lastly – the ability to cheat would be significantly reduced.
Mobile solutions can also help people in Africa with many things, including:
Proper management of farmland
Booking a locksmith service, food delivery and other
Paying utility bills without delays
A cashless economy will slash the time needed to complete tedious tasks, such as paying bills in person, for example, which in turn boosts economic output. Put simply, you don’t waste time queuing up at a payment point, time that can be spent on production or personal matters.
Building a Future Based on Technology
Africa is still behind much of the rest of the world. This is mostly because of the inherent challenges that stem from the climate the continent is developing in. Africa doesn’t have the farmland of North America or Europe, nor does it enjoy the same access to fresh water.
In many ways, the continent must be far more creative than other places have had to be in their respective historical development. If anything though, we finally have the tools to spur progress. Plus, the political turmoil in the North is not helping alleviate matters. Yet, Africa’s central countries have risen to the occasion of creating a future that helps people lead quality lives.
In most cases, this isn’t thanks to the efforts of lawmakers, particular in South Africa where corrupt politicians and cronies dominate the higher echelons of governance. However, many talented entrepreneurs are pushing the boundaries of what is known, circumnavigating illiterate functionaries and establishing their businesses in areas that require high sophistication and background knowledge is essential.
Solar Power – Africa Leads the Way and No Less
Africa is just beginning to harness the power of the sun and the countries in the regions are expected to turn a solid economic benefit from powering up the continent with the help of the sun. An age-old enemy is finally turning to be a helpful ally.
Of course, a lot of work will need to be done in order to establish a proper grid that will bring electricity to some 620 million people who currently don’t have direct access. But as Tesla’s satellites go up in the skies, so will the continent gradually begin to enjoy quick access to the Internet, electricity and other basic utility services that will hopefully lead to spur of productivity and creativity. Africa is only just getting started.
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