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Here’s How Digital Technology Can Change Africa Into a Global Power

Africa is home to a portion of the world’s most noteworthy computerized developments. From medicinal applications to creations went for empowering the mainland’s instructive framework, the landmass is encountering a computerized unrest, as well as cementing its place as worldwide pioneer in science and innovation.

The quantity of youngsters making groundbreaking computerized applications in Africa keeps on developing. In Mozambique, instructors are utilizing Short Message Services to spread mindfulness about HIV/AIDS, while in Nigeria a Do It Yourself generator that can create six hours of force just from a liter of pee was imagined by a gathering of 15-year-old young ladies. Also, in Zimbabwe, a 24-year-old building understudy has figured out how to concoct a machine that transforms plastic into diesel.

Despite such innovations, Africa is still struggling to reach the Millennium Development Goals, which are quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty, while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability around the world. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 233 million people died of hunger in sub-Saharan Africa from 2014 to 2016.

United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, points out that “one of the most effective channels for eradicating poverty, creating wealth, and enhancing competitiveness is through the acquisition, adaptation, and application of relevant technologies.”

Role of Africa’s Women

Africa is driven by the tireless contribution of its women. In fact, African women are not only the fabric which holds culture together, but they’re also the energy which drives and determines social change and development. It is no surprise that more girls are being enrolled in formal and vocation-based technology-related classes.

All sectors of Africa’s economy (commerce, health, education, culture and religion, education, politics, and infrastructure) rely on the successful implementation of digital technology, a transition that could shift the continent’s economic classification from a third-world to a first-world within the next 20 years. But how can this be achieved?

Here are three practical ways that I have called “The ‘R’ Effect”:

  1. Re-structuring of Africa’s educational system:

The format of education in Africa during the 1990’s was theoretical rather than practical. This trend has negatively influenced a generation of African graduates who don’t have a solid grasp of the needs and demands of the job market. Unemployment of college graduates in Africa has been attributed to failed economic systems, lack of political will, and an unfavorable environment for start-up businesses.

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But most of all, the biggest factor contributing to unemployment in Africa is the inability of graduates to develop practical solutions for pressing problems, such as hunger, disease, maternal mortality, repression of  information, and institutional corruption.

This trend can be avoided if African governments adopt strategies inline with the evolution of digital technology. Kenya’s rapid adoption of Information Communication Technology (ICT) dramatically transformed the country’s economy, resulting the growth of approximately one-quarter of the country’s gross domestic product.

  1. Retaining local technologies over foreign ones:

Africa’s economy suffers from the non-consumption of home-grown products and services. The preference for foreign goods has resulted in governments bypassing local innovations in favor of foreign ones under the guise of “quality and durability.”

In 2005, heads of the African Union collaborated with the New Partnership for African Development to launch a practical Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action with the aim of expanding Africa’s technological innovation in the core sectors of the economy. Unfortunately, the initiative hasn’t resulted in any substantial progress, because “many of our countries devote considerably lower funding” to home-grown innovations, according to the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Abdoulaye Janneh.

  1. Revolutionizing health care systems through innovative digital technology:

When the Ebola outbreak ravaged West Africa in 2014, Nigeria’s capital city of Lagos, through the use of indigenous technologies, was able to revert the consequence of the outbreak thanks to indigenous tech entrepreneurs Seyi Taylor and Bankole Oluwafemi.

What exceptional thing did these Nigerians do? They developed an interventionary web portalaimed at reaching millions of Nigerians and Africans with tit-bits of information on the deadly virus, all in 24 hours! It gained over 1 million views in barely two weeks, successfully raising awareness for Nigeria’s online community, while also reaching the poor and vulnerable without access to the Internet.

Africa is gradually evolving to the point where growth is reliant on the innovative breakthroughs of “indigenous” digital firms. With more than 90 percent of Africans having access to mobile phones, governments need to realize that the destiny of the continent is mostly dependent on practical policies and transformational leadership grounded in the development of local digital initiatives.

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Written by How Africa

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