The Rise of Africa’s Techonomy (Tech — Economy) | By Godwin Jimmy Akpabio
The past five years have been glorious for Africa as we have hosted the presence of some of the biggest CEO’s in the Tech industry from Mark Zuckerberg to Jack Dorsey to Jack Ma, not to mention Bill gates who is a popular visitor to Nigeria.
This entire visit has helped boost the techonomy of the Nation by encouraging the use and development of technology in Africa, at the same time these CEO’s have predicted Africa to be the nation to host the next billion breakthroughs in technology.
I believe our techonomy is yet to rise and what the world is seeing and celebrating is the awakening on the consciousness of a nation. I believe that Africa’s techonomy will rise within the next five to ten years, however, it will rise on the foundation of these three factors; without which it may never rise or will take a longer time to rise.
These factors are the bedrock of successful techonomies.
1- INDIGENOUS TECHNOLOGY
One of the biggest challenges Africans face today is that most of our innovators and developers barely think disruption and therefore they replicate western technology rather than create indigenous technology.
Permit me to take you down memory lane. Do you remember the song “African Queen by Two BABA”? a nice track, however, one of the factors that took that song global was the factor that it was indigenous, a whole nation could relate to it and black people found a sense of belong in that song, singing it with pride.
When will innovators begin this journey? Building products and services on our very own data and indigenous needs rather than assumptions based on a Hollywood movie they watched.
Consumers adopt technology faster when it has a touch of their culture, system or pattern in it; Indigenous technology is one of the core foundations that our techonomy will rise on.
2- RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Show me a poor nation and I will show you a nation that pays little or no attention to research and development. Africa continues to suffer in many sectors because of the percentage of investment we put in research and development, we keep being slaves to certain systems because we have failed to invest our time and resources in R & D. We suffer cluster in technology because of the limitation we have in information regarding certain sectors.
Creators and innovators struggle to create because most times the information needed to facilitate the production of new technology is not readily available and sometimes when it available it may be very expensive (Research papers) hence, most developers work with a deficiency in data.
3- A TECH ECOSYSTEM
I have heard a series of speakers talk about “The tech ecosystem” and I could not help but feel they are looking at a small part of a big picture. Having a tech ecosystem is not a function of having series of tech hubs and tech communities scatter across, rather it is the merger of four powerful sectors to drive the goal of development and those sectors are Educational, Governmental, Industrial and Tech communities.
All four sectors have a major role to play in creating and fostering a formidable tech ecosystem that will stand the test of time and produce that next billion technology as predicted.
I believe these are the three core foundations for the rise of Africa’s Techonomy.