We will be looking at the top 10 Technological Trends Shaping Africa’s Future. The tech industry changes incredibly quickly, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends and technological developments that could shape our future. However, it’s always worth keeping an eye on the Top Ten Technological Trends Shaping Africa’s Future.
And to help you do this, we’ve put together this list of the top 10 technological trends that are shaping Africa’s future currently.
1) The Internet of Things (IOT)
IoT has been talked about for years and yet many people still don’t fully understand it. It is a technology trend that will affect us all, even if we aren’t completely aware of its presence in our lives. At its most basic level, IoT simply means more devices are connected to each other—and thus, to us—than ever before. In short, every single device with an on/off switch is now part of an Internet-connected network. But what does that mean? For starters, it means your home alarm system can be controlled by your smartphone (or vice versa). Your car can alert you when something goes wrong with your engine or call roadside assistance when you break down. Your fridge can send you grocery shopping reminders or automatically reorder food when supplies run low.
2) Digital Currency
Even though the digital currency is experiencing a setback in some places, like China, it’s picking up steam in others. It’s safe to say that cryptocurrency is here to stay and that digital currencies will only become more prevalent throughout countries around the world. Although Bitcoin isn’t holding its value as well as it once was, other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum are more than picking up its slack. As we move forward expect to see even more innovation within blockchain technology. This includes everything from smart contracts to data storage and beyond. As long as there’s an internet connection available, you can be sure that there will be innovative new ways for people to use blockchain technology for their own benefit or profit.
3) Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are topics on many people’s minds, including entrepreneurs interested in capitalizing on business opportunities across Africa. The ability to send and receive money without a third party is one of cryptocurrency’s most attractive features, and it has clear potential to revolutionize microfinance. While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have been around for years, they remain controversial; still, there’s no denying that these technologies will continue to shape Africa’s future.
4) 3D Printing
Most observers agree that 3D printing will have a massive impact on manufacturing and manufacturing jobs in particular. It will become increasingly easy to design and print a physical object. Now, imagine you live in Nairobi, Kenya, where access to products (and even clean water) is limited due to geographic constraints and poor infrastructure. In fact, it’s estimated that half of Nairobi residents don’t have consistent access to clean water. But with a 3D printer, they could print their own filtration system. And if they needed another part for their car or bicycle? They could use their printer to create one. As technology continues to advance at an exponential rate, we can expect more and more people around the world to take advantage of these new tools—not just those living in developed countries with ready access to hardware stores.
5) Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality
Augmented reality is any technology that enables your physical, real-world environment to be altered by digital elements or information. For example, as you walk down a street in an urban area and point your mobile phone at an old building, an app may display historical information about it in front of you. Virtual reality is similar, but instead replaces your surroundings with computer-generated environments; often referred to as immersive multimedia or immersive computing. Mixed reality combines aspects of both augmented and virtual realities.
6) Innovative Mobile Apps
Apps are starting to break down barriers, connecting people in new ways. They’re redefining how we interact with technology and each other, and they’re helping us solve some of Africa’s biggest problems. From solar-powered streetlights to payment systems, As mobile phone usage grows in Africa, so too does the demand for apps.
7) Voice-Activated Technologies
To date, voice-activated technologies, or conversational interfaces, have predominantly been focused on American English speakers and are most useful for specific tasks like setting reminders or playing music. In 2017, Google announced that they would be expanding to six new languages, including French, German and Korean. As these systems become more fluent in other languages and can handle more complex queries such as asking what restaurants are nearby with open tables right now, we’ll see a shift in how consumers interact with their devices and this is Africa’s future in technology.
8) Blockchain Applications in the African Context
Blockchain is still a niche technology and hasn’t yet found its use cases in most African countries. But research is being done on how it can change finance, digital identity, supply chain management, land registry, etc. in a region that has unique development challenges such as low literacy rates, high population density, and bad governance. Some startups like Bitland have already created innovative solutions to some of these problems using blockchain technology. There are many more opportunities for developers to build applications that solve real-world problems for Africans with blockchain technology.
9) Video Streaming Services
The future of television is looking to be a hybrid between on-demand and live services. While paid subscription video on demand (SVOD) services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are taking over America, pay-TV cable companies are being met with an increasing number of cord-cutters in America. Video streaming services now have more subscribers than traditional cable in America, according to recent reports from Leichtman Research Group (LRG). That doesn’t mean that people aren’t watching traditional TV anymore though. According to LRG’s research, 83% of Americans subscribe to traditional pay-TV services while only 4% don’t subscribe. But it does mean that SVOD services are growing rapidly and becoming more popular than ever before.
10) App Stores for Mobile Devices
There are dozens of African app stores, but few are actually well-known. South Africa’s AppCentral has an impressive community of developers and is ranked second in App Store revenue on Google Play in Ghana and number one in Nigeria. Uptu is another local success story, with about 100 apps available for download. Its value proposition is that it offers a smaller selection than other stores (e.g., Apple’s App Store), thus ensuring quality over quantity. The company also provides support to its developers through training sessions and conferences.
In Kenya, Appsafrica has been described as the new frontier of mobile application development in Kenya. The store supports more than 1,000 applications across iOS and Android platforms. Another promising player is Tizeti—an incubator program designed to help entrepreneurs create products for low-income communities in Sub-Saharan Africa—which launched its own mobile marketplace last year.
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