To better understand the on-going trends in Africa’s hottest tech-hub, I visited Nairobi. What I found there was free Wifi in shopping malls, musicians distributing their songs via SMS and Loise who wants to become the next Steve Jobs.
But this is not really a new story: Africa is changing and slowly turning into a place of tech and innovation in the public perception. The chance that the wider penetration of the Internet and mobile technology will bring about wide-scale change on the continent is really high: The barriers to starting a business and to taking part in the global economy are as low as ever before. There is a growing young, dynamic and very creative crowd with a high affinity towards tech, which is going to make use of this opportunity.
M-Pesa, the well-known mobile banking system, raised the bar, both in terms of self-perception as well as in terms of expectations. But the risk that the hopes remain without substance is high. My talk will identify four challenges that the tech scene is facing and that need to be addressed in order to make the movement a lasting one. Developed countries are in a position to support – not by any traditional form of development aid but by new forms of collaboration among the digital scene, new global labor market and problem-orientated innovation.
The talk is based on fieldtrip findings and experts interviews conducted for a report on behalf of the Vodafone Institute to understand the current digital / tech related progress in Africa.
Presented by Vodafone Institute.