Saturday, May 9, 2015

Japheth J. Omojuwa – Technology... Africa's Binding Agent

Why Technology? Africa is changing. Governments will speak of reforms and policies, corporations will speak of crucial investments and trade agreements, writers will speak of the influence of China's need for commodities, others will speak of the rise of Brazil, Russia, India, and China and their increasing trade deals with the continent. All of these have been crucial to Africa's newfound fortunes, but this African vehicle of economic transformation would not be complete without technology.

Technology is arguably the most important factor in Africa's changing socio-economic realities. Technology is one thematic area that binds all the others. Technology is helping millions of Africans connect to virtual classrooms around the world; it is bringing classrooms from all over the globe into the palms of millions of Africans and bridging the gap between ignorance and knowledge across board. Agriculture on the continent could be a $2 trillion trade by 2020 if technology continues to drive the process. Farmers are being connected with extension workers and markets via their mobile phones through short message service (SMS).

Because of technology, entrepreneurship is proving to be a more effective pull for African unity than all the political rhetoric of the last half-century. Without necessarily crossing borders, African entrepreneurs are starting and closing deals with mobile internet banking providing channels of payments across borders. Technology has done a lot in driving the Africa renaissance. Much of these have happened without a unique plan. Technology can do a lot more on this continent. Our focus on Technology in SHAPE Africa 2014 is not so much for what it has done on the continent but for what more opportunities are possible with advancement in technology.