Over the last decade, the world has changed at an exponential rate. New technology seems to be launched practically every day, meaning we’re living through a pretty exciting era. In Africa, especially, we have seen a lot of change in the last ten years.
We have gone from somewhere that had very little internet access and very few computers, to a continent that is having its very own tech revolution. While more time is now spent in front of our computers and on our smartphones, it’s important to consider how this tech-focused future could be changing our lives. Is it all for the better?
One of the best things about this tech-focused future is the ability for the world to stay connected. Before, if a family member moved abroad, then you would have to rely on the postal service to keep in touch. It could take weeks for a letter to arrive – if it ever came at all! Nowadays, we can all keep connected through the wonders of mobile technology and social media.
If a family member lives abroad in this day and age, then you could be chatting with them via SMS, WhatsApp or Facebook. In a survey by ding, they found that 54% of Ghanaians living abroad said they couldn’t live without their phone. It’s their way of keeping connected to those back home, and that’s something we didn’t have the luxury of before.
While a technology-focused future may have opened up more chances for us to stay connected, it has also opened up another door – new opportunities. Whether it’s using dating apps to find the person of your dreams or job hunting websites to find that perfect career, technology has made our lives that little bit easier. A prime example of this is M-Pesa, the mobile payment service.
Mobile money has boomed in Africa, and it is estimated that 2% of Kenyan households have been lifted out of extreme poverty thanks to services like M-Pesa. The service first launched in Kenya in 2007, and it now has 18 million active users in the country. With banks thin on the ground around the continent, mobile money helps million of African people move and manage their funds.
Plenty of financial companies have noticed the trend for mobile banking in Africa and released their own apps, to try and keep up with businesses like M-Pesa. A tech-focused future will ensure new opportunities keep making life easier for the people of Africa – and the rest of the world.
Finding The Balance
Of course, with any big changes, it is essential to consider the balance with technology. In the Western world, there are worries about the speed at which technology has changed and the impact it has had on civilization already. As Africa continues to go through these rapid changes, we must ensure we are finding the balance ourselves. This means limiting our time with technology and making sure we make time for the important things in life, such as family and friends.
While it may be easier to stay connected and find new opportunities through tech, we must ‘Look Up,’ as the viral spoken word video by Gary Turk tells us. It is an exciting time for the world and one that we should fully embrace. However, keeping the balance is the only way we can ensure a tech-focused future change our lives for the better.
There are certainly plenty of positives to come out of this new era of tech. As long as we keep using these new advancements for good, and remember to spend time away from technology, the future is a fascinating prospect indeed. How do you think a tech-focused future will change our lives? Or how has it changed yours already?