Six technologies that will reshape Africa’s future – IoT, Big Data, Robotics, 3D Printing, AI, and Blockchain

Six technologies that will reshape Africa’s future – IoT, Big Data, Robotics, 3D Printing, AI, and Blockchain

Africa has registered impressive economic growth over the past decade and a half, displaying remarkable resilience in the midst of volatility and turmoil in global markets. Time is now ripe for the continent to turn the chapter and embark on a journey towards a major economic transformation. For this, Africa needs a new economic growth model powered by the strength of the real economy, entrepreneurship and innovation.

A new report from Intellecap explores the critical role emerging technologies can play in helping Africa address its age-old development challenges and achieve exponential growth over the next decade. They researched and interviewed a range of emerging technology specialists from around the world and experts with deep experience on the social entrepreneurship and impact space in Africa. That helped them to develop a framework for analyzing the potential of emerging technologies to amplify impact creation in the African context.

The report highlights how emerging technologies can trigger a set of big shifts to help Africa leapfrog and combat its development challenges. The research indicates that although early evidence of these shifts is already visible signaling the beginning of Africa’s innovation journey, significant whitespaces currently exist. The report identifies these key innovation whitespaces based on scanning of 100 technology use cases in Africa. It concludes by identifying a set of opportunities these whitespaces present for key stakeholders to help nurture a vibrant and high impact technology innovation ecosystem and in the process, become a part of Africa’s journey towards economic transformation..

While achieving food and nutrition security is widely recognized as arguably the greatest development challenge for Africa, securing water security and low carbon energy security are other mega challenges that are intertwined with the food security crisis. In addition, Africa needs to build holistic healthcare ecosystems, create a future ready workforce and financially include majority of its population.

The following are the main technologies which will reshape Africa’s tomorrow:

  • Internet of Things: IoT uses an array of sensors to enable capturing of real time data from a wide range of sources including computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals and people.
  • Big Data: Big data refers to the use of advanced data analytics including predictive analytics for extracting value from voluminous or complex data sets
  • Artificial Intelligence: AI constitutes advanced algorithms applied to large data sets for observing patterns, gathering insights, problem solving, predicting and real-time decision making
  • Blockchain: A Blockchain is a tamper-proof record of transactions distributed across all participants in a Blockchain network. Via digital authentication and verification, the technology removes intermediaries and reduces transaction time and fraud
  • Robotics: Robotics refers to use of robots to automate and standardize quality of work with minimal errors. It covers a large variety of robots including drones.
  • 3D Printing: 3D Printing or additive manufacturing is a process that creates a three dimensional physical objects from a digital design. It can manufacture highly customized parts, which would otherwise be difficult based on traditional manufacturing

Read the Executive Summary, courtesy of Intellecap here.

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