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INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY IN AFRICA

by Jackson Wavamunno

Basic technology was prospering in Africa in the early times. Africans were using very native methods of production (basically by hand), communication and trade (mostly barter). With the colonisation of Africa, things took a different twist when Europeans introduced new and faster methods of production, communication and trade.

To-date, Africa has moved from the traditional methods and has embraced the modern digital technology. Digital technology has taken Africa by storm. I remember, when I was a kid, my father had to send me to our farm labourer, two villages away, to call him. These days, the same farm labourer is only a phone call away. In the days when street parking stickers were introduced in Kampala, all streets had to be managed by many young men and women who would spend their entire day under the scorching African sun. Nowadays, we have card-managed parking meters. During the early days, soda manufacturers used to incur many losses due to the inconsistency in the thickness of soda bottles. Some would burst during filling. Nowadays, computer-controlled production ensures uniformity in the capacity and thickness of bottles.

 

Lets come to our education system, ICT has done a great deal for us. African children, who have access to computers , have the chance to enjoy highly educative content that is available on the market. Children can now be able to look at three dimensional figures of rare objects like the human heart. They can 'visit' and see what happens inside a volcano or an anthill. Government have gone a long way in promoting ICT use in our schools, for example, the Government of Uganda, began by creating an independent ICT Ministry, then went on to equip Government schools with basic ICT equipment, it is now funding the training of teachers in the use and teaching of ICT-related subjects and it has also made it mandatory for all Secondary School children to have ICT as a compulsory subject.

On the school front, teachers and Head teachers are beginning to become enlightened on the use of computers, projectors, TVs, Radio and other multi-media devices in the delivery of academic content to their students. As the fire catches on, more and more parents are being forced to jump on the ICT bandwagon because, many cannot escape the ICT-related demands from their off-springs in these schools.

Finally, as can be seen in the picture, we have gone a long way on the African continent to adopt high-end technology use. An instructor was teaching students at University how to repair computers.