People in Africa don’t have it easy. Unfortunately, our continent has faced the problems of lack of infrastructure, lack of access to electricity and a lack of connectivity for a long time. And when a continent is not afforded the same tools as the rest of the world, it will inevitably be prevented from prospering.
Thankfully, technology has come a long way and is far more affordable and accessible to African people. Technology has helped businesses and entrepreneurs alike, as they now have more options for communication and growth than in the past. And the upsurgence of mobile technology is testament to just how innovative and adaptive our continent truly is.
The progress of the African people is reliant on technology. It is used to assist everyone with access to basic human rights and needs. The man in the street is also feeling the positive impact of advanced tech in Africa.
Here are two distinct ways in which technology has broken down barriers for African people and businesses.
In rural and underdeveloped regions throughout Africa, very few people are able to access the most basic of health services. But with advanced technology, insight into managing your health is possible. With readily available healthcare information and services online, preventative measures can be taken to stop the spread of disease. What’s more, patients are educated in how to manage their specific health issues or mitigate potential, future health concerns.
Because Africa is the mobile continent, many healthcare services are in the form of downloadable mobile apps. The patient can input their personal information, what they know about their current state of health, list their symptoms if they’re feeling ill and find out how to help themselves. Some apps give crucial information to those in need, such as the closest clinic or medical facility and advise what to do in an emergency. The data behind these apps is mostly gleaned from the latest research and findings about the spread of disease in the region or country.
The CareTRx Journal App is a fine example of how a patient with mobile connectivity can manage their chronic asthma. It allows asthma sufferers to record their flare ups and suffering, get feedback based on the information they’ve recorded and achieve health goals. Another excellent example of technology assisting the healthcare industry in Africa is the use of drones to deliver medical supplies or medication in remote areas. This prevents anyone from running out of medication when they need it the most and stops those in rural areas having to travel while ill.
The second biggest change that advanced technology has brought about in Africa is gender equality. For a long while, African women have been on the backfoot when it comes to education and opportunity. Women are traditionally at home, raising the children and tending to the family’s needs. But new technology presents itself to everyone with no bias. This means anyone can step up and learn if they want to. No one is better than the other.
More and more African women are empowering themselves through education. Through being connected to the internet, many can enrol in online courses and complete distance learning studies. This has brought about a major change in the business world too as there are many female entrepreneurs who are building successful businesses. Of course, technology doesn’t fix everything and many governments are still holding their women back. But the access to education through developed technology is the beginning of the collapse of social gender barriers.
There are many programmes that have sprung up because of the impact of technology on Africa’s female population. Most notably is the increase in female coders and the support they’ve received globally. Consider Ghana Code Club founder Ernestina Edem Appiah who is a coding extraordinaire who’s leading the way for coding to become a part of all Ghanaian schools.
To find out more about game-changing African innovation and technology book your spot at AfricArena 2017. We’ll be exploring just how technology is changing the continent.