It is now a fact that the whole coast of Africa is connected to fiber optic cables. It is exciting to be in Africa, to be part of the revolution taking place right before our eyes. With Africa population hitting 1 billion mark, the opportunities and the possibilities in the continent are limitless. Thanks to technology it is possible that within the next five years African countries will be major players in the world stage.
Fact: The internet access in the African continent is going to increase by huge margin in the next five years.? The arrival of Seacom in East coast of Africa marked a turning point in terms of the internet accessibility in the region. Although the cost of accessing the internet remains high, there is a lot of expectation that that will come down once the other cables become operational in the coming year. The growth of internet access in Africa has been a bit low but quite remarkable considering the prevailing conditions. Let take the case of Kenya:
The internet was introduced in Kenya around 1993 but the full access was established in 1995 with the first ISP being Formnet. Fast track that and the number of internet users in Kenya by June 2009 stood at 3,359,600. ?By any length of imagination that number should more than tripled in the next five years.
In West Africa the arrival of Glo-1 submarine cable in Lagos last weekend is expected to dramatically impact on the cost and the delivery of high speed internet access in the entire region. The event of late July where SAT-3 cable was damaged and how that crippled bank and telecom services, has made the Glo-1 arrival as a second submarine cable so crucial.
Top ten internet African countries
Fact: The mobile phones usage in Africa is now bordering legendary and it can only be better in the coming years.? Although the total number of 65,903,900 mobile users in Africa translates only to 6.7 penetrations, the growth of the mobile use between 2000 to 2009 is unbelievable-1359.9%.? Africans are talking to each other, through the mobile phone a person sitting somewhere in his house in Nairobi can comfortably communicate to a guy in Dakar Senegal.
Fact: The mobile money transfer popularly known as mobile banking seemed to be working in Africa more than everywhere else. The M-Pesa story is worldwide celebrated success on mobile money transfer and how it is changing the lives of unbanked populations. Well, unbanked is understatement, because as I had observed before, the MPesa usage has outgrown what it was meant to be.
Fact: Africa is the riches continent in the world in terms of natural resources. The continent is home to everything you would think of, ranging from oil to Gold, to Cotton to Coffee and the list is endless. The only impediment to realizing the benefits of all these has been the lack of technology, stupid wars and the corrupt Leaders. Genesis of Africa Conflicts can be traced directly to its natural resources and in some cases greedy leaders. But there is hope everywhere, there is hope that the time for big men of Africa who only think about their fat overseas bank accounts is coming to an end. There is hope that endless useless wars across the continent is coming to an end, peace in South Sudan is fragile but very encouraging, Burundi is back to normal, Rwanda is a shining example, Liberia is making strides, DRC Congo is doing great. The news from Darfur region of Sudan is encouraging effectively leaving? Somalia as the only remaining hot spot ,but with time they will realize that they are the only odd ones out in the continent.
Fact: The Africa competitiveness across the globe is very low or non-existent. But a critical look at the world dynamics indicates that Africa is going to be the next investment frontier. The countries and companies are going to scramble for Africa, this time round not as colonialists but as investors.? Google Search Engine, Microsoft OneApps , Nokia Mobile Payment all these are meant for the developing countries. ?China has taken the first step, and very soon expect the other countries to follow suit.