Technology is undergoing rapid transformation and a huge section in the world is being left behind. Every advancement comes with its own complexities which either increase the efficiency of how we do the daily simple tasks or totally leave out an entire generation or generations in a Country. More of that can be profoundly said about the African continent.
I am a native of a country in East Africa and I am constantly in awe of what technology has done automation wise in my country. But, I can’t help but wonder of the people excluded from the equation. As African nations or any other developing country for that matter, I would rather that we do things right or rather the right way. We are the continent that has grown and established itself at the time when the internet/world wide web was launching and hence grown up tremendously with it in addition with having the youngest continent in the world. This means that we have leverage in terms of uptake in technology as well as intentionally developing technologies that serve the continent to the last mile.
Some would argue that it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel, a statement that is not shy from the truth but the bigger question should constantly be, “Are western technologies an ideal fit in the African continent? We experience similar challenges on human level every day the world over but are like two sides of the coins when it comes to economic problems and challenges that need solving at a fundamental level.
We therefore need to do the work as technology experts in Africa of not only being proud of our work in Africa but also looking further than a normal technology business entrepreneur who is just in the business to make money. Go father in the haystack and understand what the people in both the rural and urban areas would require rather than building a technology solution for a particular class. We are talking domain and domain serves a diverse group of individuals.
With that kind of thinking and having enough evangelists with such kind of thought leadership, we would then create an impact on what goes into policy making when it comes to developing technology solutions by the African Governments and responsible agencies. This is to ensure that on a basic level, the technologies built in Africa are truly serving the needs of the people in the African continent.
The technology entrepreneurs in Africa and those coming from other continents to set up shop in Africa need to have that as a motivational factor as much as it is also just business .We all have an opportunity to do things right. Things that were not originally enforced in other continents need to be done right in the African continent. We are already facing a deluge of youth unemployment in various countries in Africa, It is therefore upon ourselves to take it personally and intentionally to not continue increasing that gap but make it inclusive and hence closing it one step at a time.
Job creation can only be done by being intentional on our actions. As we all know, most basic jobs are being lost to automation and hence an indication that the youth and various individuals in different sectors require retraining to be at par with the rapid changes that are happening due to emerging technologies. Examples of these technologies include Big data analytics, cloud computing, Artificial intelligence and quantum computing, etc, which could even render programmers obsolete if we all do not get retraining.
The fourth Industrial revolution does not spare anyone even us the individuals in the technology and engineering space. That is why it is fundamental to be intentional when building technologies that serve a purpose to the last mile