Africa is developing its own Silicon Savannahs and hubs with the increasing rise of African startups all around the continent.
How can computer science play a role in Africa?
This question cannot be answered in one answer, computer science is a vast area of opportunity.
I believe Mark Zuckerberg’s idea which was temporarily halted by Elon Musk’s spaceship of ensuring internet access across the continent is a great start. Techies believe internet access is like oxygen and those without access are losing out the most. Africa needs to be fully plugged in to free and/or affordable internet to catch up with the rest of the world.
Mobile telephone access and mobile payments have opened up banking and access to financial services to even the most remote areas of the continent. More could be done to ensure its sustainability in the long term.
Computer science education needs to be enhanced. I believe children can learn computer-science from early childhood progressively to adulthood. Computer science can also provide mainstream, self and vocational employment to talented individuals with interest in specializing in the field.
Computer-Science can also be used in public relations, tech is universal in the continent and hence is an excellent marketing and communication goldmine. A tech campaign can instantly go viral across the continent within minutes.
Computer-Science needs to be seen as meaningful work and not just mundane, routine and administrative tasks. Techies should be excited to go to work, expand their skills or become tech-preneurs. It should not just be about earning a monthly paycheck playing sysadmin all day.
Computer Science should change from being a support profession to a key business driver for success. Businesses cannot survive without technology and hence should incorporate technology from high level to low level.
Venture capitalism in innovative African startups needs to increase as well. The capital acquisition is one of the reasons why a lot of Africans shy away from entrepreneurship. Venture Capitalists should continue and increasingly nurture and mentor talent across the continent to encourage the growth of the sector.
Africa will definitely become a technological powerhouse in the world through dedication, commitment, talent, interest and hard work.
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