The forth and the fifth step: searching for profit underground and using technology.
September 11, 2018
Underground raw materials could result in enormous fortunes or in a real curse. All depends on how they are managed and especially by whom.
This subject is very important, since it often happens that a country which is rich in petroleum or other resources has a starved population, because extraction and sales procurements are in the hands of foreign companies or local leaders earning all the money, avoiding promoting investments in their countries – as we have already seen. Just think about Qatar and Nigeria: the emirate has changed from transporting all goods on camels to a population having an average per capita income of 139,000 dollars a year. Nigeria, instead, is floating on a petroleum sea, but 80% of its population is still below poverty line. Figures are likely to increase and every year there will be from 10 to 15 million new poor people.
To predict the future, we must understand whether African countries will manage to take their natural resources back, working on more balanced extraction’s and sales’ agreements. We must not take for granted that powerful countries, already exerting their influences on the continent, will let Africa free to do whatever it wants to. Today different matches are played in African countries: political hegemonies, unaware managements of natural resources, lack of wealth’s distribution, bad quality of life of local populations, increasing migration flows.
If raw materials, agriculture and renewable energy can be the keys to launch and support Africa’s economy, local technology – the African-way one – can be the trigger for this breakthrough.
We have already talked about MPESA, MFARM, ESOKO, COPIA, but the most important thing is the characteristic of African technology: a way on their own, a non-imported, non-copied, non-westernized one.
Africans know technology very well, especially young people, who use it very much and can deal with it – as every young person on Earth can do. More than technology managed by the youngest, we must consider the smartphone’s revolution, who allowed Africans to be connected in a cheap and new way, which some years ago was impossible.
Africa’s technological development is linked to their urgent needs; first of all, education. We said that children will be more and more, but that for populations living in rural areas is often physically impossible to study. The solution of e-learning, which people can access through their smartphones, could help millions of children to attend school, even when they can’t reach it. It could be an African way to solve the problem. We must not think about MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses), like Coursera’s or EDX’s ones, but about basic education or technical formation projects, launched by governments. Distance teaching reduces distances and ignorance. It improves performances, can create new sectors and improve those which already exist.
Then, let’s imagine agriculture, which needs a specific and continuous knowledge during the year, about climate and trade. Informing and training agriculture’s new generations in this way could be easier.
Health could be another basic field which could improve thanks to technology. In some places, there are no medical treatments, nor hospitals or clinics. Let’s imagine a physical place, where, by a videocall, you can get in contact with a skilled and expert person, giving you advice, and calling you a doctor if the problem is severe. A doctor who recognizes the disease, sees you through the screen, understands what the problem is and prescribes for the right treatments, which will arrive in some days by courier.
Is it possible? In western countries, it would be considered ridiculous, but in Africa it would be successful, seen the small number of doctors and the enormous distances. An online advice would be better than death.
Last two examples are economy and trade. Technology could do much for e-distributing and e-money, especially after Copia’s and MPESA’s success.
The guiding principle is that technology can put things closer, reduce distances, teach, inform, warn and alert. All important actions for those people living in an uninhabited part of the world, but having the chance to reach a far person only with some clicks.