We believe research for Africa, solving Africa’s grand challenges, has to be done on the ground in We Africa – Dr Kamal Bhattacharya, IBM Research – Africa
We believe research for Africa, solving Africa’s grand challenges, has to be done on the ground in Africa and this is why we set up and made this investment. People ask us: ‘Can you do African research from New York?’ Yes you can. It is possible, you can do research from anywhere. But you will miss the mark… In order to capture value, and deliver innovation that leads to commercially viable products that impact people’s lives, we have to be here, in the local ecosystem.” -Dr Uyi Stewart
Africa has been slow in the development of technology over the years and have evolved in a system of outsourcing ICT or purchasing software solutions from the Western nation. This intriguing topic of interest dives into the core of what technology has for Africa, is there gold hidden under the ground, and are we ready to dig it up.
It is without controversy that Africa’s recent economic development requires a corresponding massive development in Information Technology. The question remains if we are ready to take this big step of change and revolution. This economic development is fast creating a demand for technology and innovation in Africa. Africans realise the importance of solving their problem.
The question of whether the increasing economic development in Africa can be catered for by outsourcing technology creates the platform for the discussion about Africa being the new technology hub.
TECHNOLOGY HUBS- STORIES
- India is the world’s largest sourcing destination for the information technology (IT) industry, accounting for approximately 67% of the US$124-130 billion market.
- The industry employs a workforce of about 10 million.
- India’s highly qualified talent pool of technical graduates is one of the largest in the world.
- More importantly, the industry has led the economic transformation of the country and altered the perception of India in the global economy.
- India’s cost competitiveness in providing IT services, which is approximately 3-4 times cheaper than the US, continues to be the mainstay of its Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in the global sourcing market.
Some Factors Contributing To India’s Success
- Abundant human resource
- Low cost labour
- Focus on ICT Education
- Massive Private investment
- €2.6 billion (around £1.9 billion, $2.9 billion) is being generated per year from Nordic tech company exports, with more than half of this coming from Sweden alone
- Stockholm in Sweden is fast becoming one of the global IT hubs.
Some Factors Contributing To Sweden’s Success
- Free education
- Ease to start up
- Real innovation community
- Incentives for start ups
Africa must buy made in Africa products
Deep IT policy reforms
Creation of the right environment
Massive private investment
Increase investment in ICT education.
Things we must Change
Let us get on the journey of making Africa the new technology hub, it is not just a dream, but a reality to be achieved.