I recently watched a couple of videos that show how African innovations in technology are influencing the rest of the world. In the first video presented at TEDx Vienna, Alexander Oswald uses numerous examples to show “why Kenyans do it better” when it comes to mobile solutions. The video is worth watching to see how “the scarcity of resources brings the best out of people.”
I cannot remember how many hundred times I heard the saying in Kenya, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Africans are some of the most innovative people I know. When I was growing up in Kenya, most people couldn’t afford to buy the latest technology, but they would still find a way to meet their needs by inventing something from the meager resources available to them. Watch this video to see how simple mobile solutions are changing the face of Kenya and teaching the developed world the art of simplicity.
The second video is a presentation by American Erik Hersman who spent part of his childhood in Kenya, and now lives and works in Kenya. He challenges the world to discard its outdated view of Africa as an impoverished continent (we’re not even talking about the people who consider Africa a country!) full of starving people and warring factions. Erik tells the story of the Africa you hardly ever see in mainstream media: Africa as a rising tech power.
Africans are intellectually active, curious, aware and making their mark on the world with their innovations. I celebrate that.
In the words of Erik Hersman, “[The West] shouldn’t be trying to make Africa more like us, …we should be more like Africa.”