By Nicol Turner Lee, Yolanda Jinxin Ma, Addisu Lashitew, Jane Munga
Conversations around the tech industry typically focus on the United States, largely ignoring Africa despite its status as the world’s second largest continent. Over decades, Africa has increased the number of residents that are connected to the internet. Researchers have estimated that at least a quarter of the population of Africa has internet access, with some perspective that three quarters of residents will be connected by 2030. While the improvement in these numbers are good, they still rank far behind other continents when it comes to technological advancements.
Access to mobile devices is a large contributor to internet access and has also generated a significant portion of jobs (about 1.7 million) and roughly contributing 8.5% to the economy of Africa. Additionally, mobile health applications have become critical in raising the quality of life in many African countries as they supported many medically vulnerable individuals and families during and before the pandemic.
Despite the progression of online access, the digital divide in Africa stifles the universal adoption and use of existing and emerging technologies. In this episode of the TechTank Podcast, co-host Dr. Nicol Turner Lee speaks with guests Yolanda Jinxin Ma, Addisu Shaw, and Jane Munga to understand the digital transformation in Africa and the future challenges with universal adoption and use.