Mobility in Africa: The "Hopeless Continent" on It's way up!

By pearl - January 03, 2017

It has taking me awhile to come up with this article, because it is a topic I feel very passionate about. It is my very first article about my origin. The place were I was born and were I spent most of my life. My first true love..Africa. I wanted to be more objective than emotional. And despite my efforts, I may still come off as emotional, but nevertherless I hope you learn something.

In a little over a decade, Africa has gone from "The hopeless Continent" to a rising and thriving continent. We are now an investment opportunity and no longer just a "charity case". There are plenty of reasons for this. I came up with a couple;
  • It is the world's 2nd largest continent, with about 5 countries in the top growing economies.
  • Huge market size especially for cell phones.
  • Great demand for healthcare, roads, infrastructure and electricity
  • Most of the countries are fairly politically stable compared to few years ago.
  • There are 100s of companies with Billions in annual sales
My main focus in this article is communication, mobility which is my present and hopefully future area of expertise.
In  the past 5 years, the telecom industry has grown about 71% in Africa. As a result they have attracted worldwide businesses. Unlike most western continents, the cell phone is the main form of communication. People are more able to afford cell phones than laptops and tablets, which is why foreign companies are investing in this area. 
I can't stress enough about the importance of mobility.Mobility can help people to work together in developing our continent. It can change the lives of every single person. Farmers no longer need a middle man to the markets. They can communicate their prices via cell phone and not get cheated. I strongly believe it is the most important tool we have. It can help solve a lot of our issues from healthcare, to corruption, to poverty. There is power in communication.

Africa is now a huge investment opportunity. You can invest both financially and intellectually. As a software engineer I can think of a few ways in which one can invest in Africa. There are very few mobile applications tailored for this continent. And I believe it takes someone who lives in it or who has lived in it to be able to understand the specific needs of the everyday African. Here are a few areas I can think of

-Healthcare:  A quick example will be a diagnostic app based on symptoms, or an App that updates Doctor's visits in areas close to you.
-Farming and agriculture: Apps that update latest prices of stuff in the market with maybe an ability to bargain.
-Educational e-learning apps: Maybe a GCE app?  
-Online shopping, payments: You can make a mobile app for a the most used local bank and enable transfers. This I must say is the hardest one to figure out for me because I am not sure how the banking system works in Africa these days. 

There is so much to be done. It is time to stop using our smart phones only to facebook and whatsapp. Lets use it to educate ourselves, make our lives better and heck yea make some money. We Started from the bottom! it may have taken us more than a decade, but we on our way up! #startedfromthebottom

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