Emerging digitalization is having a significant impact on Tech opportunities for Africans security and stability. The final legacy of the digital revolution, on the other hand, will be determined by how it is used, not by the technology itself.
African countries to make use of developing technology’s benefits while limiting its threats may be able to attain more peace and prosperity. Many countries, however, may be left behind. As Africa recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, its leaders must decide whether to use modern technology to boost government performance, transparency, and inclusion, or to use it to suppress, divide, and cause conflict.
Digitization, in general, introduces vulnerabilities that expose governments to cyber espionage, critical infrastructure disruption, and criminal activity. Until recently, Africa’s internet traffic accounted for such a small percentage of total internet traffic that its systems were relatively immune to sophisticated assaults.
As African nations, criminal businesses, and threat groups become more prominent cyber actors in the future decade, this could alter. Algeria, Morocco, Kenya, and Nigeria, the four African countries with relatively significant internet penetration, are already among the top 10 countries in terms of mobile malware attacks.
Use of the internet
The internet’s rapid growth across Africa has been hailed as a crucial generator of prosperity and a sign of the continent’s technical maturation. At least a quarter of the population now has access to the internet, representing a nearly fifty-fold growth in internet usage since the millennium began. By 2030, three-quarters of Africans are predicted to have access to the internet, bringing the continent closer to global balance. Mobile technology alone has created 1.7 million jobs and contributed $144 billion to the continent’s economy, or nearly 8.5 percent of GDP.
Innovation and spread of technology
The creation and distribution of developing technology will have an equal impact as increasing internet adoption, because most African countries are poor and do not rank among the world’s technical superpowers. it is commonly considered that the Conditions under which they receive and use new technology are beyond their control. This has always been a dubious assumption, and it’s much more so now when many essential developing technologies are both inexpensive and readily available. Many African countries are already utilizing two crucial emerging technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and drones, in novel ways.
The long-term influence of developing technologies will be mainly determined by how governments use them. AI and drones allow many African countries to gain economic, political, and security benefits through early adoption due to their low costs and quick dissemination. However, the influence of developing technology could be destabilizing if it is employed to boost corporate profits and regime security at the expense of regular residents’ lives and livelihoods. While it is too early to predict where things will go, the continent’s basic trajectory, if one exists, will become clearer following COVID-19.
Tech Opportunities For Africans in Nigeria
The information, communications, and technology sector (the “tech sector”) is currently one of Nigeria’s fastest expanding sectors. Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, the sector provided 15% of the country’s GDP in 2020, second only to agriculture in terms of contribution. This continued a five-year trend, with the industry rising at an annual rate of 18 percent between 2016 and 2019.
The Nigerian technology economy is showing signs of blossoming into one of the world’s most exciting centers of innovation, although it is still in its infancy. Nigeria is beginning to attract serious money into its web and mobile businesses, buoyed by the sheer size of its population and the rapid growth of its mobile telecoms industry.
Analysts and industry experts, however, caution that severe infrastructure and skills development obstacles remain and that despite the excitement, the sector’s contribution to employment generation may be limited. On the surface, Nigeria appears to be ripe for a technological revolution. While other emerging market capitals have started to develop their sectors and incubators, and some, such as Nairobi, have begun to define their competitive edge, few can match Nigeria’s sheer size. Consumers are becoming more acquisitive and technologically sophisticated as a result of rapid urbanization and economic expansion.
Nigerians consume a large number of alcoholic beverages each year, with prominent brands such as Guinness enjoying a large following in the country. Counterfeiting, on the other hand, is still an issue, and retail options can be limited. Drinks. ng is an online platform developed by Lanre Akinlagun that allows Nigerians to buy any quantity of verified authorized beverages in any amount.
Despite its enormous consumer potential, Nigeria’s online retail industry has been limited by a lack of payment infrastructure and a low credit card usage rate. Jumia, dubbed “Africa’s Amazon,” solved this problem by delivering its goods on bicycles and accepting cash payments.
Sim Shagaya, a former soldier, founded the e-commerce company Konga.com in June 2012. The company is moving to a massive new fulfillment center in Lagos and establishing a marketplace offering for other traders to sell their items, thanks to large investments from Swedish venture capital fund Investment AB Kinnevik and the South African media behemoth Naspers.
Pagatech, one of Nigeria’s first new wave of technology firms, was formed in 2009 and allows customers to conduct a variety of transactions using their mobile phones.
Jobberman, a job search and recruitment website started by three Nigerian entrepreneurs in 2009, is another of the old school. It has already extended into Ghana, making it the most popular recruitment portal in the region.
Tech Opportunities in Kenya
Kenya is a technological pioneer in Africa, particularly in major cities like Nairobi and Mombasa. The information and communications technology (ICT) sector is less developed in Northern Kenya, which accounts for 70% of the country’s total landmass. Poverty levels are extremely significant, which adds to the difficulty of implementing technology.
Kenya boasts a burgeoning, tech-savvy ecosystem, including a “Silicon Savanah” in Nairobi. Over 70% of Kenyans have a mobile money account, and more than 75% of those aged 15 and over have made digital payments in the last year, thanks to the popularity of M-Pesa, Safaricom’s mobile payment services. Kenya has quickly established itself as a hotspot for some of the continent’s most innovative digital firms, including Ushahidi, M-KOPA, M-TIBA, and others. Huduma E-Centers across the country offer 200 digital services, as well as eCitizen, a full online government-to-citizen services platform.
Kenyan officials have created a favorable regulatory environment and encouraged the widespread usage of electronic payments.
All these companies and startup growth leaves a wide range of tech opportunities in the country and as well attracting the world investors to come invest in most of these innovations.
Tech Opportunities in South Africa
South Africa is a regional leader in the Ease of Creating Online Jobs, owing to strong consumer demand for digital businesses and a favorable regulatory environment, compared to Latin America and Asia/Southeast Asia. South Africa is also a regional leader in the application of developing technology such as biometric data and payment cards for social security, as well as mining drones, placing it at the forefront of technological innovation.
South Africa also has several facilitating factors that bolster its strengths: on a continent plagued by power outages, it has the lowest monthly outage frequency of the countries studied; it has high digital transparency measures, including a relatively high Freedom on the Net score; and it was ranked 19th globally as a financial hub by the World Economic Forum, which also praised the country for having one of the most advanced transportation infrastructures.
1. With a 64 % internet penetration rate and broadband and mobile internet speeds considerably below the global average, South Africa should provide web access to a wider cross-section of its population while simultaneously enhancing access quality.
2. While 60 percent of South Africans used digital payments in 2017, only 30 percent of the poorest 40 percent did so in 2017. Capabilities for digital payments must be made more inclusive.
With unemployment at 29 percent – and 55.2 percent among those aged 15 to 24 – and declining GDP growth, job-creating digital firms should be encouraged.
Policies must be emphasized to carry out President Ramaphosa’s commitment to a “skills revolution,” which includes creative and multimedia capabilities.
Tech Opportunities in Ghana
Ghana has long been the apex of African technological advancement. With Accra as the focal point, it is apparent that Ghana has a bright future as the continent’s most advanced country. Accra, like every other metropolis, has its share of roadblocks to technological advancement. Nonetheless, other factors are working in this city’s favor.
Ghana’s ability to accept technology in whatever form is one of its strongest assets. Accra is home to a slew of internet companies and startups. It is home to enterprises like mPedigree, which verifies the provenance of medications, and Rancard, which is co-owned by Intel and provides information services to telecommunications companies in the region via SMS. There’s also Busy Internet, a pioneer in the local ISP sector, Impact Hub Ghana, a tech startup incubator, and Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), which provides software businesses with end-to-end IT training, mentorship, and finance. Of fact, innumerable government and private organizations use technology in some form or another to help.
Ghana’s technology for producing solutions has advanced and is now more advanced than it was three years ago. Ghanaians are young and vibrant, continuously learning new things and expanding their technology development hub to continue growing, developing, and improving. Ghana aspires to become a self-sustaining, middle-class economy during the next decade. Ghana’s technological advancements will progress considerably beyond where they are currently over the next decade.
Tech Opportunities in Kampala, Uganda
Uganda is noted for having the world’s second-youngest population. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 78 percent of Uganda’s population is under the age of 35, and that percentage will quadruple in the next 25 years. With such a young population, Uganda’s technology industry sector has the potential to expand as young people begin to invest in digital technology for information, education, and services. Furthermore, as new markets for technology emerge, communities will be able to upgrade their networks and live more efficiently. The advancement of technology in Uganda is predicted to benefit both enterprises and residents in terms of monetary and societal benefits.
Uganda’s technology market has been limited in comparison to other countries in the past because it is a low-income country. However, in recent years, there has been a growth in the number of technological startups, academic programs, and overall company presence. The Ugandan government and various humanitarian organizations have begun to recognize the untapped potential of technology breakthroughs in Uganda since “innovation is a critical component of reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
App development in Uganda
Several humanitarian organizations, such as UNICEF, are supporting technical advancements in Uganda to provide more critical services to children, such as education and stable learning environments. Data on school enrollment and educational institution needs is collected through EduTrac, a mobile app developed by UNICEF and Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports to assist district education officers in monitoring and managing schools. EduTrac has aided in the development of better curricula and enables educational institutions to respond more quickly to defects and needs.
UNICEF-supported applications give Ugandan teenagers more possibilities to express their ideas and issues, in addition to offering better education. U-Report, for example, is a mobile tool that improves the relationship between the Ugandan government and its residents. Since its inception in 2011, U-Report, a free SMS-based network that allows Ugandan residents to communicate with government authorities about community problems, has grown to over 300,000 subscribers. Citizens’ voices on community issues have influenced officials’ decisions as a result of the U-Report, including the design of Northern Uganda’s third Peace Recovery and Development Programme.
Uganda’s Economy is Boosted by Technology
Ugandan start-ups have had a huge impact on Uganda’s economy and lifestyle, in addition to government-supported apps. Safeboda, an app created in Uganda, allows citizens to find nearby motorbike taxi drivers. Safeboda went international with an expansion in Kenya and Nigeria, thanks to the app’s popularity in Uganda.
Fenix International, a highly successful corporation, has also established itself in Uganda. The energy company employs solar power to provide energy to African households and takes payments using a smartphone app, making energy more affordable and environmentally friendly for African families. The success of technology-based start-ups in Uganda demonstrates not only Uganda’s technology sector’s potential expansion but also its positive acceptance by Ugandan citizens.
In Uganda’s Technology Industry, Gender Equality is a Priority
The rapid expansion of Uganda’s technology industry has a favorable outlook as organizations devote cash to technology-based inventions and educational activities. In addition, organizations such as Women in Technological Uganda (WITU) aim to promote gender equality in Uganda’s technology sector. WITU is especially interested in assisting young women in “developing skills in] innovation, technology, leadership, and entrepreneurship.” WITU’s efforts to achieve gender equality bring more work options and higher earnings for young women.
Organizations like WITU, as well as technological advancements like EduTrac and Safeboda, have the potential to improve Uganda’s education systems, society, and economy. The future of technology in Uganda continues to seem bright, as the government and independent organizations recognize the regional and national possibilities of the technology business.
1. Which African country has the most advanced technology?
South Africa boasts Africa’s most developed startup ecosystem, ahead of Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Uganda.
2. Why is technology such a problem in Africa?
One of Africa’s poorest countries is making strong efforts to get digital. In African countries with weak rule of law or huge debt burdens, a lack of technology policy and its bad execution can lead to economic and political instability.
3. What role can technology play in assisting Africa?
This extensive embrace of digital technology fosters new business models, such as mobile payments, which could assist struggling African economies in “leapfrogging” from poverty to economic prosperity and stability.
4. In what ways has technology aided Africa’s developing countries?
The Internet-fueled rapid spread of technology has resulted in favorable cultural shifts in developing countries. Easier and faster communication has aided in the establishment of democracy and the alleviation of poverty. Globalization has the potential to raise cultural understanding and foster diversity.
5. Is technology available in Africa?
Mobile technology has advanced swiftly in Sub-Saharan Africa, but internet connectivity has not. Internet penetration in Africa is 18 percent, which is much lower than the global average of 30 percent, and just one in every ten households is linked to the internet.
It is not enough for African countries to focus on the rapid adoption of emerging technology in for digital revolution to bring peace and prosperity to the continent. Risks and externalities must both be taken into account. Increased internet connectivity, as well as cost, cybersecurity, and fair access, should all be prioritized.
Drones and artificial intelligence (AI) present Africa with significant prospects for innovation, but their usage could be destabilizing if there are no plans, policies, or frameworks in place to manage their use. And, because in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, the question of what African countries should do in the face of technological advancements is no longer theoretical. It’s essential.
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