Sunday, 30 June 2013

The African Solution

I had great fun yesterday at the Lusaka SM Day. A place where social media enthusiasts came together and shared ideas and knowledge on Zambia as a techy state in her infancy.  I mean coming together and belting our ideas and perceptions to people they don't know is something could only dream about until Bongohive, C1rca1964, Media365 and others made it happen. I feel lucky to have been part of that meet and wouldn't have it any other way than to be there every other time something like this is going on.

The Zambian ICT sector still has a long way to go in terms of human development among several other aspects that may exist. Several barriers to entry exist in trying to run a purely web-based business, also transforming web users to actual customers, but all these things were addressed and I learned something from it. I could talk more about what I learned but I think I'll be the only person in the world who will read this article. Simply put I think this is a perfect to fish out the African solution in the problems we face in using technology or even making it available.

As an IT guy, I wish I knew more guys in the industry, especially those with a little more time and programming skills so we can also sit down and try to create tools that are specifically designed as the "African Solution" to anything that has not yet been localized to suit local consumers. Because we are the ones who face these challenges every day we have to seriously start inventing solutions so that we can finally take control of what we consume and use. I saw a video one on TED where Kenyan developers at Ushahidi have created systems and solutions to problems we face as communities and as nation, they created the crowd map and also developed the BRCK which is a lovely solution to our connectivity problems. The African Dongle, no hassle. I love it, but we don't know the price or if it would be available in Zambia any time soon...Enough about that
My point in all this is the challenge media houses face in hosting or streaming their content on line, I don't know if we have anyone among our ISP's or any corporate entity that is even remotely interested in sponsoring development of such technology so they can feed off the license. I know I could research what it would take to handle such a job or even buy ready made software but I see this great chasm in between the relevance of something and people's understanding, or perception of it. By that i mean someone would much rather spend money fixing an old computer or buying a new one without figuring out why the are actually buying a new machine or not fixing the old one. Now I'm boring myself,.... Enjoy your day

I think I have said enough, hope to see someone say something back...