Why technology is to be used to strengthen the arms of government

Akufo Addo Press18 President Akufo-Addo

Sun, 23 Dec 2018 Source: Dr. MIchael Buadoo

Tech Afrik - v3: v1 called for standards with attributes relevant to Africa. v2 cautioned the use of external data and how they are materialized for African consumption within the context of integration of technologies and innovation into enterprises. This version will offer a little elaboration on v2 as requested by readers.

An enterprise, in the context of this submission, is synonymous with a business or company inspired by entrepreneurial spirit. Sole proprietorship, partnership, and limited liability businesses are examples of enterprises. And industries spring out of enterprises. Examples of industries include health, water, energy, agriculture, tourism, technology, restaurants, oil, etc.

Integration of technologies and innovation into these enterprises are precisely the points made in my previous submission “Tech Afrik - v2”.

Such integrations enable communication, distribution, and improve efficiency across industries. More importantly, from all activities, very valuable data CAN BE collected.

Such data, when aggregated, CAN BE used to model powerful insight into enterprises and reveal what works, what does not work, why, when, how, by and from whom etc., and from which reliable decisions CSN BE made.

“How does Africa make key decisions today?”

The efforts of the AU to foster strategic engagements amongst African countries to strengthen their competitive edge on the global market can certainly be helped if ‘charity begins at home’; which is, a call for individual countries to position themselves well by leveraging their technologies across their internal industries and sectors, and yielding realistic data/information. With that, meaningful intercontinental partnerships and strategic partnerships can be formed based on solid insight information needed to compete on a global scale.

“‘Africa cannot compete without information technology”

Clearly, Africa’s lack of such innovation across enterprises has deprived her of deeper and clearer perspective of her enterprises, and the true value of her goods and services, including natural resources that are sought after by the international markets.

Consequently, trading with African countries has been a goldmine for foreign traders. As it is, superior African goods are purchased at significantly lower prices from Africa and sold astronomically higher prices on the international markets.

Many technologies in Africa today, especially software applications, are not developed with Africa in mind and are missing many Africa unique attributes that would critically reveal the cortex needed to understand the conscience of African industries.

Also, African countries today are quick to adopt ready-made applications that are said to have worked well elsewhere.

Africa must stand advised that policies are NOT and should NOT be derived from second hand technologies. Rather, solid missions, goals and objectives must be supported with technology to realize/achieve, improve, and discover new approaches to achieve desired goals.

I would offer an observation of a crippling situation in one African country, following my probe during one of my World Bank missions. Census data was produced by a water entity who only GUSSES the nation’s population counts and submit such garbage to the government year after year. Amazing, isn’t it? Government decisions for a nation made using guessed data is crippling at best! This is not funny at all.

Africa must engage her Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) across the spectrum to support formulation of policies and procedures geared toward achieving set goals... and technologies must be used to facilitate and alleviate the process. And to the point, to reiterate, information gathered from the outcome of these processes would offer powerful insight into Africa’s progress, and help guide nations in Africa to achieve desired goals.

Columnist: Dr. MIchael Buadoo