Sunday, September 27

Opinion: Youths are tools for sustainable technological development in Africa

African youths, despite the myriads of odds ravaging the continent have the potentials to initiate a massive drive in the technological development of the continent. Recent statistics have indicated a rise from 778 milllion up to about 1 billion mobile subscribers expected by the end of September 2015 which is in contrast to the present level of backwardness and poverty faced by a larger percentage of the African population who live less than $2 per day.

The technological potentials of African youths have manifested over time in the series of surges observed in a number of business and e-commerce online stores such as Nigeria’s Jumia and Konga and other mobile payment systems including, Cellulant, which is by Bolaji Akinboro and Ken Njoroge from Nigeria and Kenya respectively.

Government encouragements and supports are the only proven recipes for improvements. Africa is faced by massive deterioration in infrastructure, education, power, absence of enabling environment for small businesses, corruption which has crept into almost all sectors of the economy.

There is also a lack of proper institution to tackle the problems of inaccurate data collation and storage partly caused by a high illiteracy level as observed in the inability of most African families to provide required information to relevant institutions during census and other national planning programs of various African countries.

African leaders must wake up to their responsibilities and invest massively in relevant sectors of their economies including education, infrastructural development, agriculture, power, creation of enabling environment for businesses, growth policies and intense fight against endemic corruption. Putting these in place will provide the enabling atmosphere required by youths to thrive in their pursuits of aggressive technological growth and an overall improvement in the condition of living. Indeed Africa has so much to gain from a vibrant technology-driven economy.

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