If you live in Europe or America, then it’s quite likely technology has become a big part of your world. You may be reading this on your phone, tablet or MacBook before you settle in for a night of Netflix in front of your 46-inch TV. While this may be the ‘norm’ for millions of people in the world, there are many parts of the globe which haven’t yet entered the prime of their technology era.
Many remote parts of the world, such as Kiribati in the Pacific, are more than 20 years behind when it comes to technological advancements. There are also some countries, particularly in Africa, who have just started to see rapid growth in their technology industries, but who are finding it difficult to adapt. So, why are so many parts of the world struggling with a tech future?
Funds and resources
For some countries, technological advancements are the last thing on their to-do list. Mozambique, in East Africa, is a prime example of a country that requires more funding and resources before it focuses on technology. There are many parts of the globe that need to put all of their funds into things like clean drinking water and education before they can allocate a budget to technological advancements.
On the other side of the coin, there are many developing countries who are keen to allocate some of their budget to technology. Kenya Vision 2030, a development programme launched in 2008, has outlined technology and ICT as some of their key focuses for the country over the coming years. As the economy starts to grow in a country, it allows for more funds and resources to be put into a tech future.
While poor funding may be the reason for a lack of technology in some countries, there are others who have the money but not the rights. A prime example is in North Korea, where citizens aren’t allowed to interact with those out of the country using social media. Only 1 in 10 people in the country have mobile phones, and there are strict rules and regulations surrounding them.
Eritrea, in the Horn of Africa, faces a similar problem. The government controls the only phone network in the country, and only 5% of the population has a mobile phone. In contrast, Ghanaians rely on their phones to keep in touch with their family. 54% of Ghanaians surveyed said that they couldn’t live without their phone, with 39% saying they called their loved ones to stay connected. If they lived in Eritrea or North Korea, this would not necessarily be possible.
As we have already seen, there are plenty of developing countries who are becoming more and more technologically advanced by the day. Mobile phone and internet usage is at its highest ever levels in much of Africa, and they’re only set to rise. As we become more reliant on technology, it’s important that we adapt to the world changing around us.
With headlines like the threat of the automation revolution taking manufacturing jobs from African workers, it can be daunting to think of a tech future. However, the key to making this kind of revolution work for us is to ensure we adapt. Putting more funds and resources into STEM education, for example, would be one way to work alongside the technological advancements that are due to come.
There are many reasons why some parts of the world are still struggling to catch up with others, especially when it comes to technology. As the tech revolution continues throughout places like Africa, it is vital we learn how to adapt and work with the new world. How do you think we can adapt to a tech future? Are you excited by what’s still to come?