Technology as a Game Changer in Africa – Part 2
Technology has come to stay and Africa is open to embrace it and develop it to its full potential. Many tech and business Start-ups have given themselves to the use of technology to better the lives of Africa.
There is a future for Africa’s health sector with new tech start-ups rising up to tackle these challenges. REMA is an Ivorian startup that aims to improve the quality of medical decisions by connecting all African doctors through a mobile app that allows them to publish, discuss, resolve patient cases and collaborate in real time to make better medical decisions. In Cameroon, four young women have developed an application that links patients and potential blood donors. All these new tech inventions will help shape-up the health care sector in Africa.
Africa is undergoing impressive urban growth. The continent who was alongside with Asia one of the least urbanised in the world back in 2014, is now demonstrating fast urbanisation rates and is envisioned to reach a 2.4 billion population within the next decades favouring cities over rural areas. By 2030, it is expected that 6 of the world’s 41 mega cities will be African, the cities being Cairo, Lagos and Kinshasa joined by Johannesburg, Luanda and Dar es Salaam. The urbanisation process has undoubtedly the power to transform the global economy, however, it also comes with a set of challenges such as the need for mobility and access to urban service, the access to clean water and sanitation, public health and safety issues as well as policy-related matters. Hence, the urbanisation process can spur development only if initiatives are taken on to cope with the structural challenges that urbanisation generates; and efforts are pursued to create inclusive, safe and sustainable cities as awaited by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The global tech revolution is greatly changing the way we work in every sector. EdTech, which merges innovation with teaching, has made education more accessible and comprehensive across the world. Most recently, we’ve seen that established schools have adopted robotic teaching assistants, VR experiences, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and virtual classrooms. Young entrepreneurs across Africa have taken brilliant steps in contributing to the development of a revitalised educational sector.
Africa has an immense energy crisis. In a continent with a population of close to 1 billion, over 625 million people are without power. According to the International Energy Agency, that makes up 68% of the population. This is ironic considering the fact that Africa has an abundance of natural resources available. For instance, the continent has a large coastline where wind power and wave power resources are abundant and underutilised in the North and South. Africa has much greater solar resources available than any other continent because it is the sunniest continent on earth.
Energy is an essential factor for the reduction of poverty and economic growth. Major sectors like agriculture, education, communication, and technology all require abundant, consistent, and cost effective energy to spur the much needed development of the continent. Currently, many African nations already have small scale solar, wind, and geothermal plants that provide energy in rural areas. These modes of energy production are becoming very useful in remote locations, because they bridge the gap created by the excessive cost of transporting electricity from large-scale power plants.
The applications of renewable energy technology have the potential to alleviate many of the problems faced, as well as help improve the lives of many in the continent. As technology is fast evolving, Africa is not left behind with brilliant minds working and figuring out ways to solve Africa’s challenges and bringing out solutions to our problems. We are smart people and we can transform Africa to what we want it to be.