There is an African proverb: “Birds sing not because they have answers but because they have songs”. As we celebrate Africa Day on May 25, we are reminded of this thinking. Samsung believes the African continent is set to go beyond the questions asked in terms of plans for future growth. It beats to the drum of its own songs – as it embraces the potential of new technology to solve old problems, and the inherent ingenuity of its diverse people to build on the solutions to create an anthem for success. Samsung, which was last year acknowledged as the number 1 Most Admired Technology brand in Africa*, has first-hand experienced the massive strides forward many African countries have made, as they harness the power of technology to fuel the growth of entrepreneurship, education and to connect communities in new ways.
The application of new technology to improve processes can very well become a commodity that Africa exports. There are already inspiring examples to be found such as in Ghana. The country is using drone technology to deliver medical supplies in remote areas. Ghana’s drone service makes on-demand emergency deliveries of 148 different vaccines, blood products and lifesaving medications to health facilities in the country, 24 hours a day. The drone service also delivered Covid-19 test samples in the country’s two largest cities, Accra and Kumasi, making it the first time in history that autonomous drones have been used to make regular long-range deliveries into densely populated urban areas.
The technology strides in Cameroon has been very exciting. There are only 50 heart specialists in Cameroon, and the rural and undeveloped areas make it difficult for patients and doctors to connect. With this problem in mind, Arthur Zang invented the Cardio Pad, a handheld device used by healthcare workers to send cardiac test results to relevant doctors via a mobile phone connection. The implications of this are vast and there is a belief that these pads could become a part of every heart patient’s treatment everywhere in the world.
African innovation in agriculture is also yielding results. In Sudan, where satellite images are being used to obtain data about crop performance, this data is shared with farmers by way of their mobile phones. And drones are being used in Nigeria to search for areas that could be used for rice cultivation. All of these examples use smart technology integrated with long-standing industries, as a means of applying new and existing knowledge to improve processes. Smartphones are also fuelling the growth of entrepreneurship. This is increasingly seen as one of the keys to economic growth in Africa. It’s generating new sources of income for many and inspiring novel solutions to old problems.
New technology creates new possibilities. For entrepreneurs to realise the potential of their ideas they need the tools to bring them to life. Many inventive start-ups are doing exactly that and in doing so they are inspiring a new generation that is embracing technology – a clear path to prosperity. Together with governments across the continent, Samsung is also striving to transform communities and open up skilled, well-paying job opportunities for youth with an interest in electronics. With this in mind, Samsung’s Engineering Academies provides students with the necessary engineering acumen, that will help give the graduates a head start in the workplace, making them valued recruits for Samsung and the industry at large. By doing so, communities can overcome the critical need to address skills, education and entrepreneurship through technology. This, in turn, stimulates employment, positively impacting the lives of the people most in need. The engineering academies across Africa have already seen thousands of students graduate with hands-on, practical skills at no cost, enabling them to move into jobs after they graduate.
“In a few years’ time, the new world of connected devices and services based on artificial intelligence will be able to better connect Africa with the world, and the world with Africa. There is every reason to believe in Africa’s ability to lead the technological revolution in many inventive ways. Africa is indeed a continent on the rise,” says Dudu Mokholo, Chief Marketing Officer At Samsung Central Africa.