Africans need to open up to technology
Too often I see people in 21st century African societies clinging to old ways – almost as if they are afraid of the new and sometimes radically different ALTERNATIVE ways now made possible by advances in technology.
A perfect example of this can easily be seen in the prevailing attitude towards the use of PC/Internet technology. I have toured a number of African states and cities in my own country, Nigeria. The problem remains: people have an apparent reluctance to put these powerful and inexpensive tools to productive use.
Do not get me wrong. We use these tools. BUT it’s what we mostly use them for that I struggle with. Forget the 419 Yahoo! mail scammer. Yours is a fallout from THIS. Information technology serves a THINK society to create and develop value-adding resources that benefit others. What I see is that many of us just love to buy, own and PRESENT our IT tools instead of exploiting them to get to the next level.
Large majorities of our people are in awe of Internet technology, rather than seeing it as the greatest leveler of all time, enabling any willing individual from any part of the world TODAY to make a tangible impact on people and places worldwide. without physically getting there!
Why aren’t our schools making good use of PC/Internet technology?
For example, why don’t we have a multitude of educational institutions that use the Internet to convey knowledge to their learners inexpensively, so that the latter pay less tuition – if at all?
No, I do not accept that what schools and some universities are currently doing by having data centers corresponds to what I am describing here. What I aspire to is the ACTIVE use of PC and Internet technology as a means of more effectively imparting knowledge to learners both inside and outside the local environment.
THIS is NOT happening in our institutions at the moment. Yes, they run computer and internet appreciation classes BUT that’s where it ends. Little or no effort is put into using these tools for CREATE and INNOVATE. For this reason, our educational institutions cannot boast of having website visitors (if they have a website!) who come regularly to browse and download useful learning materials developed by their OWN teachers/students or lecturers/students .
It is often the members of OUR institutions who go online to the websites of OTHER institutions in developed societies to search and download information about our own societies! Even if they were patriotic and tried to find websites run by Africans living in Africa, their chances of finding the accurate (and up-to-date) information they are looking for would be slim.
Africans in Diaspora Are Using the Internet Better – & MORE
When we have Africans who maintain reasonably up-to-date websites, it often turns out that the website is operated by Africans residing in developed societies. However, the truth is that our local environment does NOT make it difficult to use PC/Internet technology in this way. My personal experience confirms this.
It is simply a sort of mental “barrier” or boundary that we have imposed on ourselves and that each of us must break if we are to have any chance at all of using these tools to improve the lives of our people.
SOME EXCEPTIONS: By the way, there are exceptions to this general problem in Africa that I’m complaining about here. If you try to visit websites of universities in African countries like South Africa, Egypt and some others, you will almost believe that they are not based here.
EVERY person can use the Internet profitably
As a self-employed person in a society where sales/marketing costs can be quite high and unpredictable, I have successfully established and maintained a web presence with considerable visibility that fits my business vision.
My email subscriber database has grown as more and more people request some free offers on my articles. Note that they are doing this of their own free will, and this suggests that not only did they find my article interesting enough to be useful, but they were impressed enough to go a step further and request copies of additional information that I offered fonts in my text.
If I can accomplish the above with the limited resources I have, then ANY African individual or organization can achieve similar, if not better, results.
It actually costs VERY VERY little to maintain a website
And when you consider that it can cost less than $50 naira equivalent to pay for domain name registration and hosting a simple website. Add to that the fact that various website design tools now allow even a beginner to build and maintain a decent website presence. One wonders then, what are many of us waiting for?
Thanks to Tayo Solagbade | #Internet #Technology #Productively #African #Societies