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    Thursday, June 21, 2018

    The Potential Of Africa's Digital Revolution

    In just a couple of years, Africa has gone from possessing a total bandwidth availability comparable to that of Norway to having almost over one hundred million internet users and over seven hundred million mobile users. Could this growth in access to information and communication technologies (ICT) represent an opportunity for economic development? Many have described this moment of transition as "Africa's century", ERC grantee and Oxford scholar Prof Mark Graham, a leading authority on the topic of technology and development, aims to understand this "digital revolution".

    Recently like all other places Africa has also started to boom. The economy has stabilized over the years and the digital advancement is opening up new avenues for the population who once only depended on agriculture and tourism.
    The Rise of Smartphones and Internet
    Africa has not been left behind by the digital revolution brought about by smartphones and the access to the internet. During 2015 to 2016, the smartphone users doubled in the continent reaching an astounding 226 million. The drop in prices of devices mainly contributed to the high scale adoption of smartphones.
    The people of Africa can now access the internet at cheap rates which was not possible before. Even companies like Facebook have made attempts to provide zero cost data packs so that the African people can access the internet. Slowly the continent is gearing up for mobile apps and use of technology in the daily life.

    Big Data and the Cloud
    Big data is the next thing in customer service, and there needs to be qualified people to decode the data. According to research by McKinsey’s Business Technology Office, first world countries like the USA are going to face a talent crunch in the future. They will run short of managers and analysts who can make use of the data.
    Many organizations have opened training centres and institutions in Africa and educating the youth on such technological fields. They will be able to cash in on the talent crunch as more and more work is being outsourced to countries like Africa and India.  It’s what is driving the economy forward, ensuring that Africa is able to bring in a skilled workforce that doesn’t hesitate to get the job done.

    Advancement of Tech Companies
    Many tech companies have opened a store in Africa and invested heavily in developing business in different countries. The companies provide a great employment opportunity to the African people who also receive training and education to acquire the necessary skills.
    The training makes the participant’s job ready, and they can find employment in other companies or start their own initiative. Many tech startups have also mushroomed in the recent past with quite a few showing major potential to create a social transformation by enhancing the standard of living of the population. We can name some of the companies who have received major success like Safaricom,  BitPesa and Paga.

    Tech is the Future for Africa
    This is just the beginning and Africa will need some a few more years to reach a significant position. The resources and infrastructure needs further improvement before the whole of Africa can benefit from the digital revolution it is going through.

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