BY JOEL SAVAGE
Modern technology, through communication and internet have influenced and enhanced Africa’s development, in a way that lives of many throughout the continent have significantly improved. The demand of ICT companies in Africa, have created fast growing mobile and internet markets providing employment to thousands of people.
A country without technology economy can never grow. It is therefore the effort of every government in Africa to invest into ICT facilities to sustain the economy. Technology is therefore essential and important in establishing sustainable startup companies and firms in Africa. Today, several major technology trends are shaping the lives of Africans and the economies, with many formidable mobile companies, with communication tools such as the internet and telephone enabling quick access to every part of the world.
Let’s have a glance at the effect of ICT trends in Ghana, choosing MTN as an example. Officially launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN”. Detailed Report Data for 30 September 2010, MTN recorded 134,4 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.
MTN MobileMoney, a service which allows users to perform micro-financing and transfer money from their mobile device, has been adopted across the continent. The basic satisfaction behind this is the answer to customers’ dream of enjoying basic financial services on their mobile phones everywhere they go in Ghana and above all one doesn’t need a bank account to cash his or her money. This service provided by MTN in partnership with banks is also available on the internet. MTN MobileMoney service is recommended to be secure, simple, fast and a convenient solution for money transfer and other transactions including reloading of MTN airtime units.
Let’s have a quick glance at India. What is a successful strategic technology? That is an existing technology that has matured, which is the case of India. The country has become an IT brand among the global countries over the years, with strong policies base in education, well-established telecommunication & infrastructure facilities and favourable market conditions that prevail. Many Indian cities are now holding prominent places in the global IT map. Now India stands out as one of the biggest and fastest growing economies in the world.
The country’s matured technology offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage, continuing expansion in foreign firms owned establishments in India, with its emergence as favorite sector for local Indian investors and talented entrepreneurs. Yet Indian IT industry is still only in its very early stages of development both internationally and domestically and has strong growth potential. The success of ICT trends in India’s growing industry can’t be exaggerated. The industry growing at 40 percent per annum between 1994 and 1999, with software exports alone more than 50 percent, earned revenue growth IT industry from $1 billion in 1990 to $8 billion in 2000, envisioned to reach $100 billion in 2008.
“While predicting the future is hard to do, it’s indubitable that the Internet and mobile technology will improve the lives of many Africans in the years to come,” said tech expert Rudy de Waele, who assists global brands and companies with cutting edge open innovation strategy on how to mobilize their business and products through projects, research, strategy, presentations, workshops and brainstorms.
ICT developed and developing continents, such as Africa and Asia hold its own communications future, as talent shines through and the continent becomes a leading innovator, manufacturer and exporter throughout the continents and of the rest of the world.
Photo Credit: Joel Savage