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The African Tech Systems Borrow a Leaf from Ancient Knowledge

Nairobi, Kenya, Nairobi Garage, iHub tech incubator, Cymantics Emeka Okoye, Ubuntu

Africa has in the recent past hit the tech headlines as the region that is attracting more investors into its tech industry. The rise is attributed to the increasing number of tech hubs in the major towns. Research shows that there were a total of 314 active tech hubs across Africa in 2016. Most of these tech hubs offer fast internet, affordable shared office space. Furthermore, they give reliable electricity. Electricity is one of the main problems that Africans are going through.

A good example of tech hub that is offering all this is the Nairobi Garage in Kenya. The hub holds workshops, tech events, and conferences. This helps entrepreneurs to get new skills. Another hub found in Nairobi is the iHub tech incubator. The incubator has over 150 companies that can trace their roots from the hub. Furthermore, many tech companies are known for innovative duty. For instance, Apple was founded by once an upcoming innovator Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs business model got inspiration from The Beastles.

But in Africa, the current philosophy of Ubuntu is leading the line in promoting entrepreneurship. The name Ubuntu came from the Zulu phrase “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.” It refers to a person remaining a person with the help of other people. Archbishop Desmond Tutu from South Africa once said that Ubuntu is the importance of being human. He went ahead and emphasized that one’s humility is caught up and it strongly depends on the other. Therefore the word talks more about communities.

Technology calls for a partnership of communities, off and online. They should work together to get solutions to African’s problems. All the way from education to health facilities, the communities are working via Ubuntu to help Africa in solving its own problems.  The continent has not yet fully utilized Ubuntu. This is according to CEO of Cymantics Emeka Okoye. He says that Ubuntu is in a position to transform Africans into Wakanda. Furthermore, it can make Africa be the hub of solutions where the whole world depends on. But that is yet to be achieved.

African tech ecosystem comprises of the likes of Facebook groups and Meetups. Silicon Africa a Facebook community has around 9,000 members. This is where startups, coders, and developers share their ideas. Another example of community-driven technology is Lagos based Andela. The startup trains Africans on how to become top developers.  forLoop Africa is the biggest software developers and admirers across five countries in Africa.

Plans are there to develop spaces run by women only to improve technology. Africa Women in Tech organization was founded by Anie M. Anie. It aims at educating, connecting, and empowering women who have the desire to advance their tech professions.

The African tech incubator centers have many entrepreneurs and startups. The entrepreneurs and incubators work in shared spaces. It calls for partnership so as to do away with problems of internet connection and power. The SwiftaCorp founder who is also a Google launchpad accelerator mentor Victor Asemonte relates the power problem to an Igbo word “nkali”. Nkali translates to an English word as being bigger than anyone.  For Africa to realize the thriving of its tech ecosystem, then people should work in partnership. He says that Ubuntu should then come before Nkali.

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Written by Denis Opudo

Am an engineer who's a tech blogger, hit me up on dennis@techinafrica.com and we base our discussion on technology in Africa and the rest of the world.
Denis the Tech guru

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