Knowledge sharing has become a fundamental foundation off of which ideas stem from to leapfrog speedily in a certain domain without starting from scratch. This applies to all sectors ranging from the government, private sector and cutting across countries and continents. The 21st century is an information economy yet a large part of it is still untapped.
A typical example is the immense work that is developing in the African continent.So much is happening in most African countries but a lot of this knowledge that makes the different African countries tick in their won way, is still in silos. The utilization capacity across the continent then amounts to waste especially when such great ideas are not replicated across the continent as needed. Take the case of technologies like Mobile money. It has been the most successful infrastructure and technology that the continent has had for a long time and yet not all countries in the continent have been been able to benefit from its existence. However, there are several factors to this impediment.These issues/factors have stifled the whole process of ensuring that it is included in all African cities in the continent. This issues range from Mobile network operators not willing to share their data to other Mobile network operators, Policy issues with the different African countries . Lack of enough required skills to further learn and implement the desired technology in different countries and several other challenges and changes required . The big question then is , how can we implement technologies like mobile money in other African countries that haven’t yet benefited from this wave and how could we ensure that the rest of the population is financially included in the spectrum?
Policy change in itself requires a big shift of the mind on the part of the policy makers as well as the adopters of these technologies. It is therefore fundamental during the evaluation process, that policy makers evaluate their strategies against what is in it for the public and the value added in the whole, value chain. Otherwise there could end up being a disconnect between what the public needs to have to improve their quality of life vis a vis just a hype policy change for the sake of fulfilling a work task.
In addition, it would be a huge step forward if these analysis and evaluations for these policy changes would have the public opinion included in the process. This would bring a sense of ownership within the public and hence possibly embracing the change that is being brought to them.
Besides countries having their own policies on how to go around these technological changes, it would be fundamental if there was a cross country sharing within African countries to facilitate having standards that could cut across all these countries. This would promote:
- Easy access for and a pool of expertise from all these African countries solving the same problem familiar problem.
- Not having the need to import expertise from outside the continent where millions would be spent and repatriated back to the countries where this expertise is hired from.
- Promoting intra-Africa trade besides sharing the expertise. This is due to the fact that once one area is successfully implemented, the other area somehow picks up eventually albeit in an organic way.
- Trust between these countries
- Overall economic development which could translate to improved living standards to the people.
There are several other benefits that could come from all these collaborations. Once this is seen as a pedestal for the installations of various technologies, there could possibly be a funnel of technological advancement achieved within the African continent.