How Technology May Aid In Africa’s Revolutionary Progress
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), a forum that brings together government, business, and non-governmental organization (NGOs) leaders from around the world to discuss how to improve the lives of the more than 2.5 billion people living in the 54 independent countries that make up the Commonwealth, was recently held in Kigali, Rwanda.
Africa is dealing with numerous issues. Although Covid was primarily a health concern, it has had a significant economic impact in several regions of the continent. Supply networks and food security are under additional stress as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. And with 60% of the population in Africa expected to be under 24 by 2025, there is an even greater need to offer economic opportunity and guarantee that people and families can make a living.
Despite the difficulties that lie ahead, the CHOGM was in a positive mood, emphasizing cooperation and finding solutions that will aid in Africa’s economic recovery. Technology must be used effectively for such.
The possibilities of the world of programming are explored vastly. The potential of technology to foster growth and contribute to the resolution of significant societal issues has been captivated. Its not exaggeration to say that Technology can really advance humanity.
Around 2005, Google made its first investment in Seacom Cable, marking its first wager on Africa. Google established operations on the continent two years later and has since collaborated with local authorities, decision-makers, educators, and entrepreneurs to support the continent’s economic development and digital transformation. The goal is to make Africa the benefits of the digital economy accessible to all people through offering beneficial goods, programmes, and investments.
By 2025, the internet economy in Africa might reach $180 billion, or 5.2% of the continent’s GDP, and it could foster prosperity, opportunity, and development. African governments and businesses must seize this chance by incorporating technology into the economy, guaranteeing that no one is left behind, and overcoming the present difficulties stronger than before.
Ensuring Access to Inexpensive Internet
Affordable internet connectivity, a requirement for digital transformation but still a challenge today, is most important to this. Only 18% of homes in Africa have internet access, and data costs continue to be a significant barrier.
Governments can help people go online and take advantage of the economic growth and advantages that will result from that by actively pushing infrastructure investments, even in rural regions.
In order to do this, Google already collaborates with African countries. With the help of Google’s reasonably priced Android devices, over 100 million Africans are now able to access the internet for the first time. Google also plans to invest $1 billion over the course of the next five years in projects that will support Africa’s digital transformation, including our cutting-edge Equiano subsea cable.
By connecting Africa and Europe, the cable—which will touch down in Namibia in the coming weeks—will offer twenty times greater network capacity. By enabling internet speeds up to five times quicker and cutting connectivity costs by up to 21%, it will pass via South Africa, Namibia, Togo, Nigeria, and St. Helena, promoting growth and employment.
A Commitment to People
Internet users must be able to utilise it and change their life as a result. Governments can guarantee that individuals can fully participate online by collaborating with tech businesses and NGOs to support the development of digital skills.
In 2017, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, pledged to teach 10 million Africans digital skills. In collaboration with local governments, Google has taught more than 6 million individuals in Africa so far through Grow with Google, and it has also donated $20 million to non-profits that support the digital skills development of Africans. Additionally, Google pledged to certify 100,000 developers, and has already done so for more than 80,000. A Google survey from the previous year revealed that the African developer ecosystem is expanding. The number of professional developers in Africa is close to 716,000, with 21% of them being women. We intend to help increase these numbers.
Google introduced an Africa Investment Fund last year to aid in the expansion of startups across the continent. Through the Fund, we invest $50 million in startups like SafeBoda and Carry1st and offer them access to Google’s resources, including people, tools, and networks, to aid in the development of valuable community goods. This is in addition to the work we already do through the Google for Entrepreneurs Accelerator: Africa, which over the past three years has given over 80 African startups equity-free funding, office space, and professional advisors. Additionally, in 2021, we expanded the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund to help Black African Founders like Shecluded, a firm providing services and resources for women’s digital financial success.
The Use of Technology Innovation To Address Fundamental Problems
With 300 million additional people in Africa expected to go online over the next five years, the opportunities for overcoming development issues are infinite thanks to technological advancements. While technological advancements in AI have allowed Google to translate more languages, including Luganda, which is spoken by 20 million people in this country of Rwanda and the neighbouring country of Uganda, digital finance, for instance, can be used to address the barriers preventing nearly a billion African women from banking.
Africa has a lot of possibility for progress, prosperity, and opportunity because to technology. It is believed that, by working together, Africa’s digital revolution could be build and continue to make a difference.