The tech world is on steroids (2)

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By Evans Woherem

TODAY we are seeing the beginning of what drones can do. They now can do more and will do a great more with added intelligence buoyed by new technologies. This have paved way for a number of incredible applications over the past year or so, and as we become familiar with the boundaries, limitations and capabilities of these drones we are able to explore their new uses in a wide range of industries – from growing crops, protecting endangered wildlife and a host of other area of use.

Safety and security

Integrating the new intelligent drones with our existing aviation infrastructure will be superlative and would bring about much benefit such as real time update of flight information, as well as simulations for informed aviation decisions.

For this to happen, there have to be several risk considerations such as safety and security.

The rapid urbanization of African cities will put lots of challenges on transportation and urban roads. Technology will serve as a solution to these challenges.

tech

The advent of driverless/connected cars provide solutions to road accidents as these vehicles would be intelligent enough to detect and avoid road accidents.

Again 5G technology plays a big role here as it would serve as the enabling technology to handle big data analytics which is a key component of driverless cars, as it allows the personalization of each driver’s experience.

Bosch, a driving force behind the Internet of Things (IoT), asserts that connectivity is reaching the next phase of development – personalization. The company’s vision, as shared at a CES press briefing, is for devices to become intelligent companions that can accompany and assist people in all aspects of their daily lives.

It could be said that innovation has to be inclusive.

Many organizations and even countries are encouraging young innovators to invent by providing them a fecund environment in which they can experiment and try their hands with bricolage and inventions. Qualcomm’s Thinkabit Lab organizes kids and grants them access to their fully fortified innovation labs in order to let them try out their hands on inventing.

In Nigeria today, the Engineering taught at our Universities needs to be seriously revised to be in alignment to the driving exponential technologies fueling the disruptive changes we have currently began to witness or that we are about to begin to experience. Our young students, and youth in general, need to be given environments like those provided by Qualcomm’s Thinkabit Lab and the TechShops in the US, to start putting their ideas through the invention process.

Invention process

Events such as the CES is one that spurs individuals, organizations and governments towards greater innovation. It was to this effect that the contingent from Nigeria grew considerably this year compared to the previous years. Since 2014, Digital Africa in partnership with NITDA, has been organizing the Nigerian delegation to the CES.

This year, the contingent included Government officials, delegates from NITDA, Ministry of Communications and Technology, Members of the House of Representatives, Nigerian Communications Commission and a host of others. In company of these top government officials were other key players in the ICT sector and major partners of Digital Africa, including a number of CEOs of top ICT organizations.

Given the gulf between us (developing countries in Africa) and the more developed world, how can we really compete with the rest of the world? This question is critical and is one that needs to be answered by all our technology stakeholders – governments, organizations, experts, technology practitioners and individual consumers of technology.

For us to become developed is a serious business. It means meticulous planning, a firm resolve or will power by all the stakeholders, especially the government, and painstaking execution, regardless of changes in government.

Politics and regionalism

As long as we continue to give the business of developing our countries little priority and more priority to politics and regionalism, then we are postponing the dates for our development or even kissing it good bye.

It is imperative that we take technological development seriously.

I will be one of the happiest persons in the world when I begin to see a critical mass of African countries begin to make technological development a thing of urgent priority. To do so means that each African country needs to pursue ICT with a lot of seriousness as it will act as a catalyst for the development of other technologies, as well as all the other sectors of their economies. It is time for each African country to evolve into a developed country status. Leveraging technology can get us on the way to achieving the above. This is evident in the role technology plays in developed countries. I have been preaching this to Africa since the mid-1980s.

I hope some of the countries, especially my country, Nigeria, would begin to take this call seriously. It is also to this effect that Digital Africa was created. It organizes an annual Tech show aimed at bringing together exhibitors from Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world to Abuja to showcase their new innovations.

It also provides a platform through which organizations can come to keynote speak on their innovations, as well as a platform for people to gather to listen to presentations from experts from across the world and discuss how to evolve Africa’s technology ecosystem. All these aims towards helping Africa to bridge the gap currently in existence between the continent and the rest of the world with regards to ICT.

  • Dr. Evans Woherem, is Chairman, Digital Africa Global Consult Ltd Abuja

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