For a few years now, Africa has experienced a real entrepreneurial boom. Generation Y innovates, surprises, exports ideas and sets itself apart through its different use of new technologies. One of the main sources of inspiration for these young people: their daily life. Every African problem is a business idea.

Imagine living far from it all, in the desert, in the mountains or in a remote village somewhere between Rabat and Ouarzazate. You need medicine to treat yourself, but it takes three to four days to get it to where you live. What would you do? Expect?

Now imagine if you could order this medicine from the screen in your living room powered by solar energy, pay the bill from your mobile phone and collect your delivery dropped off by a drone in front of your door within 48 hours … thanks to new technologies, this is now possible. Is Africa therefore slowly catching up on its lag in high-tech innovation? Certainly. But in its own way. And at his own pace.

Africa differs from other regions of the world in the way it captures and exploits new technologies. Indeed, in this southern continent, the digital revolution is not so much characterized by the technology on which it is based but by the usefulness of the so-called high-tech solutions that it develops and promotes on the international scene. . This differentiating point has allowed Africa to position itself as a forerunner and not as a follower in a constantly evolving sector.

Technology opens up new markets, flies over borders, creates jobs, enriches the offer of choice, accelerates the buying and selling processes, breaks the pricing policies that we were used to seeing and shortens the lead times. waiting. On the web, African youth are making a place for themselves among the greatest. But there is a catch. One of the main (huge) flaws in this potentially rich market beyond the quality of local entrepreneurship is connectivity.

The law of the net could not be simpler: no development without connectivity.

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), over the past 15 years, the Internet penetration rate on a global scale has practically increased sevenfold. From 6.5% to 43.4% . 3.2 billion people now have access to it out of the 7.4 billion inhabitants of the planet.

In Africa, web accessibility takes longer. In fact, it is the least connected region in the world, just behind Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Less than 30% of Africans have access to mobile broadband (compared to 43% in Asia Pacific, second lowest in the ranking, and 79% in America, at the top of the list) and only 15% have access to the Internet at home ( against 46% in Asia Pacific and 84% in Europe).

Beyond the connectivity issue, high costs are also a huge drag. While mobile hot spots are very often geographically limited to urban areas, they are financially inaccessible to a large part of the population. Another major obstacle: most of the devices used are based on outdated technology that is not suitable for so-called intelligent use. Finally, almost all of the content available on the web is oriented towards the Western world and therefore does not encourage Africans to seek to connect.

To get connected, millions of Africans are turning to mobile networks which tend to offer better, more widespread coverage and at a reasonable cost. Also according to the recent survey released by ITU, Africa has the highest growth rate in the number of mobile phone users in the world. The latter has exploded over the past 15 years, rising from 174 million to 772 million users, an increase of 334% (against an increase from 3,192 million to 6,605 million, + 107%, in the rest of the world) .

Another positive projection: the International Data Corporation (IDC) firm estimates that in the next five years, sales of smartphones in Africa will experience even stronger growth, in particular thanks to the diversification of offers and the massive investments of the major operators established in the continent (Orange, MTN, Etisalat, etc.).

This dynamic will boost the rate of local connectivity and the entire web will then enter a new era.

Having understood the interest that they could derive from it in the medium to long term, the behemoths of the web made in the USA, Google and Facebook in particular, declared that they were thinking of investing more in Africa, the most dynamic telecommunications market in the world. which should quickly become one of the most lucrative on the planet according to the experts.

 

Source: Huffpost Maghreb

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