Archive for August, 2012

Does Africa Need Charity or Infrastructure

Friday, August 10th, 2012

There are some great development across the African continent bringing in well needed technological infrastructure. In fact there is a growing feeling that Africa’s many active charities would do better investing in ICT projects than traditional aid.  Information technologies have the power to achieve a huge level of social impact for a very low cost.

The potential for digitial entrepreneurs in Africa is staggering, there will be over 735 million mobile phone users by the end of this year.  Across the continent big telecoms companies like Tigo are investing heavily in infrastructure.  All these offer the chance to create, share and access information on a multitude of levels.  They also offer the possibility to start small online and traditional business using  the technology.

There are many, many promising initiatives – take for example the Technological Innovation hubs like RLab in Somaliland and iLab in Liberia.  Countries previously only known for war and famine have the chance to innovate and create real social change.  There is nothing to stop African entrepreneurs, expanding beyond their continent too – you can use vpns and proxy servers to bypass technology barriers.  Take this post on using a proxy server to watch BBC Iplayer on the Nintendo Wii, these can also be used to access US and European markets as well as watching the TV!  For those interested the same process allows you to watch any country restricted content, so yes you can watch Coronation Street on ITV Player abroad too.