Technology and innovation have immense potential that African youths can leverage on to build a future for themselves and the continent. Technology today is fast emerging and evolving across the globe, and these top tech trends hold great economic and transformational potential for the African continents. And the amazing thing about tech is that you can take it and apply it to any discipline of your interest, being in engineering, medicine, journalism, banking, agriculture what have you.
Below are Top 10 Tech Trends that Young Africans should watch out for.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: AI and Machine learning set out to brings to bear what escapes the human eyes. AI and Machine learning has revolutionized manufacturing, the health sector, and Academia among other sectors. It has made these sectors more sensitive to consumer behavior. While the West and Europe are well advanced in AI and machine learning Africa is still at its budding stages making room for more exploration in this technology trend on the continent. Countries like the US, China, UK, etc. are seeing the effect of AI and machine learning on their health sectors in terms of more accurate disease diagnosis, which informs treatment plans, something we are yet to see in Africa.
2. Cyber Security: Another promising tech trend worth exploring. Cyber security is the practice of making computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data safe from malicious attacks. Cyber Security has become a very popular word for the past couple of years since world economies and corporations are going digital such that data privacy and security have become a great concern. The pandemic has even increased the rate of digitalisation and in the event that cyber crimes are increasing rapidly if not more than the rate of digitalisation and people want to ensure that their data is private and safe. These therefore creates more opportunities for cyber security experts on the continent.
3. Internet of Things (IoT): IoT is set out to improve our quality of life and how best we can communicate with our environment. For example, IoT appliances like voice over assistants (Siri & Alexa), smart watches, smart homes have augmented our efficiency and productivity. And Africa being a continent that has some pressing challenges in sectors such as, electric power supply, solar energy production, and health care delivery, etc. We the youth can leverage on IoT to provide solutions to some of these century old problems. Joshua Agyemang is an example of a young Africans using IoT to help fight Covid-19.
4. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality(AR): While AR can be defined as a system that incorporates three basic features: a combination of real and virtual worlds, real-time interaction, and accurate 3D registration of virtual and real objects. VR is an environment generated by computer technology, which creates in the user the feeling of being immersed in it. The possible application of VR and AR are endless from architecture, entertainment to medicine, gaming, education, and business. For example, AR allows a customer to view inside a product packaging without opening it. In fitness, we have AR-powered smart glasses made for biking and running, with performance analytics and map navigation projected onto the user’s field of vision. AR and VR support surgery, astronomy, welding, live broadcasting, and many other sectors of the economy. There is so much room in AR and VR for young Africans to explore, as not much has been done on the continent in this regard.
5. 3D Modeling and Design: 3D printing is a manufacturing technology that was invented in the 1980s. The 3D printer has been revolutionary leading to its adoption in a variety of sectors from automotive to aerospace, from healthcare to sports, and from defense to fashion. The Advantage of 3D printing is that it allows you to rapidly prototype; thus design, manufacture and test a customized product in the shortest possible time. 3D printing has also been used in the humanitarian and development sector to produce a range of medical items, such as prosthetics, spares and repairs. For Africa, the 3D printer promises to help close the manufacturing gap that has been facing the continent. For instance, Benjamin Obeng and some other your Africans are using the 3D printing technology to solve real problems.
6. Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Is a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots that perform humans actions. This technology is for anyone who wants to automate digital tasks. With RPA, software users can create software robots or “bots” that can learn, mimic, and then run rule-based business processes. RPA bots have the same skill set as people and a few more. And as most companies are on a cost-saving agenda they tend to be using RPA since it does not require a big-budget IT project. In Africa at the moment, South Africa seems to be one of the few countries making waves in this regard, implying that there is still more to be done.
7. Digital and Social Media Marketing: We are now in a digital world and age where almost all economies and corporations are online. Businesses nowadays are faced with either digitizing their transactions or die out of business. Consequently, digital and social media marketing has become very vital. Thus most businesses now get to their clients through social media and other digital channels. eg, Facebook, Instagram, billboards, email list, and banners, etc. Although some progress has been made in digital and social media marketing tech trend in Africa there is still much more to be explored.
8. Edge Computing (EC): Is a system of networking aimed at bringing computing close to the source of data as possible. Edge computing allows for the efficient processing of data such that large amount of data can be processed around the source reducing internet bandwidth usage. EC also ensure that applications and devices can be used at remote locations. Internet speed and cost is a challenge in Africa which makes edge computing a tech trend worth exploring. In other parts of the world edge computing has significantly augmented the speed of medical monitoring devices, IoT devices, and video conferencing etc. and if invested in, it will be something the African continent can greatly benefit from.
9. Quantum Computing : Is using the strategy of quantum mechanics to solve very complex problems. Up until now physicist and programers have relied on supercomputers to solve most of their problems. But for certain problems the supercomputer are not able to solve them, hence the need for quantum computing. For instance, problems such as, a logistic company wants to know the optimal route to save fuel cost, a pharmaceutical company wants to simulate molecules to better understand DNA interactions etc could not be solved by the supercomputer. In response majorly some North American tech companies like IBM, Microsoft, Xanadu, and Honeywell designed quantum computers to solve complex problems that most powerful computers cannot solve. This is also a viable tech trend that young Africans can explore.
10. 5G: Is the acronym used to refer to the fifth generation of mobile phone technologies. The notable merit about this technology is that it supports higher bandwidth which translates into higher download speed. 5G is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices. Internet connectivity is the basis of all technology hence, the need to increase internet connectivity, achieve lower latency and internet will always be inevitable.
Bonus Tech Trend: Blockchain
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