Africa’s Tech Savvy Youths and the 4IR
Key players and Features of previous industrial revolutions
In discussing Africa’s Tech Savvy Youths and the 4IR, it is important to ascertain its development. At the traditional stage, the world was not tech savvy. Western Europe was characterized by a subsistent, agricultural based economy, with intensive labor and low levels of trading, and a population that does not have a scientific perspective on the world and technology. When the late 18th century industrial revolution started in the United Kingdom, certain economic features stood out. Britain had a reliable and fast developing banking sector, a straight forward legal framework for setting up joint stock companies, a modern legal framework and system to enforce the rule of law, and a developing transportation system.
The Industrial Revolution brought a transformation in the economies and human life circumstances in Britain, the United States, and Western Europe. Large measures of advances in the technologies were realized. Prior to this, the Asian economy accounted for nearly 60% of the global GDP. The first Industrial Revolution merged into the Second Industrial Revolution around 1850. In the period, technological and economic progress gained momentum with the development of steam-powered ships, railways, and later in the nineteenth century, electric power generation.
When the “Asian Miracle” began in the 1960s with Japan, it didn’t take long for the likes of Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan along with like of Malaysia and Thailand to join the take off. China’s persistent double-digit growth in the 2000s made it a driving force of the Asian economy and a global heavyweight.
Asia’s position as “the factory of the world positioned it as a global commercial hub. The region sold its abundant low-cost and highly-skilled labor force, allowing firms engage its liberalized production sites.
In discussing industrial revolutions, certain things stand out- financial management, commerce and transportation.
African Youths’ Tech Frenzy
Africa is ready for lift-off. The desire to solve challenges of the continent has become the catalyst for innovation. Blockchain and NFTs, need for fintech, e-Commerce and mobility startups, and the remote job niche, Africa’s tech-savvy youths are driving significant growth in the continent. A decade ago, these were mere dreams. Startups struggled to raise customer base.
Nigeria has leaped ahead of its African peers in adoption of cryptocurrencies following the launch of Africa’s first Central Bank-backed digital currency- the e-Naira in 2021. Kenya tops the world in peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trade. South Africa is currently in the piloting stage of its project, Dunbar- that will support cross border payments with Mauritius getting closer to piloting now in the development stage. Six other African countries including Tunisia, Ghana and Morocco are still conducting research on regulated digital currencies.
Growth of Fintech Startups in Africa (African Fintech Report 2020)
Africa’s tech savvy youths research and adopt more decentralized techs. The growth of Blockchain and crypto trading is a great indication of how feisty African youths are about disruptive technologies.
E-commerce and mobility has created a shift towards a more efficient and effective mode of commerce. E-commerce has played an important role in the growth of Africa’s Fintech space- a favour that has also been returned by the Fintech sector. As innovators and startups try to simply the processes of commerce, they go all the way by adopting easier and flexible payment channels. Fintechs obviously benefit from this demand. However, tech savvy African youths have undeniably played huge role in ensuring that relevance of tech startups.
Age of High Tech Consumption
When W. Rostow discussed the last stage in his Five Stages of Growth, he discussed what many societies wanted to come to. According to Rostow, development per capita income of country rises to such a high level that consumption basket of the people increases beyond food, clothing and shelters to articles of comforts and luxuries on a mass scale. As discussed in the introductory part of this article, certain things stood out in the previous industrial revolutions- financial management, commerce and transportation. Accepting and accessing these services at this time shows that African countries are ready for the 4IR. A readiness that has been facilitated by its tech savvy youthful population.
E-mobility/commerce allows African achieve more simply with their mobile phones. With most African youths staying attracted to their phones, it becomes a one-stop-shop for everything. Ease and prompt service delivery has become the foundation of Africa tech startups. This will mark the future of transport in the region, creating a more efficient, Fintech and e-Commerce space.
Africa’s tech savvy youths have clamored for progressive industrialization and urbanization of the economy values. They favour consumption of luxuries and high styles of living. If what W. Rostow said is anything to go by, then African youths are preparing Africa for the 4IR.
This is huge for us, we are ecstatic about what the next big thing to happen in Africa’s tech space. Here at The Ouut, we look forward to bringing you more information on what is going on in the African technology industry. You can subscribe to receive news the moment it drops by clicking here.