Not so universal technology

by wonderfullyrich on September 7, 2009

So in my renewed job hunt, I ran across this blog post that I found rather interesting. I was intrigued because in my experience, most people assume application of technology is universal. (i.e. if it works in America then it’ll work anywhere.) Having been in places where that universal application breaks for a bit, I found this guy’s points extremely salient (as even getting Gmail to work here is a pain). I’ve had to rethink some of my spoiled technological habits and methods of resolutions because I was applying learned skills in environments that are optimal.

A majority of the time, he’s absolutely right and it’s more useful to reverse the technological application, i.e. if it works in Burundi, then it can most likely survive America. In many respects this is part of a larger debate about the western to african mindset of international development, aid, colonialism, and empowerment, but what I particularly like about this post though is the thought that Africa can give back to the world’s tech community, and for that matter has.

Re-framing Brand Africa (Tech)

I’ve had some recurring thoughts over the last couple weeks, mostly pertaining to how technologists in Africa present ourselves, and how those outside Africa see us. How does “Brand Africa” – from the technology angle – play out, and why? What is unique that we offer to the world, and why should African technology matter in the global context?

It’s about “Brand Africa”

We need to re-frame the way we think about technology in Africa before we can expect others outside of Africa to do the same. Our challenge is to get people to realize that there is a real competitive advantage to developing and testing software in Africa. After all, if it works in Africa, it will work anywhere.

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