Dark Continent…digitally dark

I hate that term: “Dark Continent”, but Africa at night do look dark compared to other parts of the world. Click here to see what the other parts of the planet looks like at night. Most of the continent of Africa (except for south Africa) is dark literally.

A serious consequence of this electricity problem is the non-existence of an internet culture in Africa as chronicled in a new United Nations report. Here is the money quote:

“in Africa, ICT has barely taken a foothold. Computer illiteracy and the lack of access to ICT are widely recognized as an increasingly powerful obstacle to the economic, civic, and political development of Africa.” And Africa Recovery notes that in Africa “For most people even making a telephone call is still a remote possibility in an era when most of the world is now communicating almost instantly across cities, regions and the globe using wireless and satellite technologies to send high-speed electronic messages.”

Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade has this to say about the dilemma facing Africa .

“The digital gap brings with it a danger of isolating certain peoples, those in Africa in particular.”

Africans after decades of independence are still lacking behind in all human growth indexes compiled. And what are the leaders doing about it except for the lamentations made by the likes of monsieur Wade. Asia and Africa had comparable economic outlooks at the dawn of their independence. In fact sub Saharan Africa…with it’s natural resources was primed for inevitable economic growth while Asia seemed an economic backwater with no promise in the immediate aftermath of colonialism.

Today, the roles have reversed. Sub-Saharan Africa is the economic backwater while Asia is setting the pace for economic development. The four Asian Tigers: Hong Kong , Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan set the pace. Now their bigger cousins in China and India have risen up to the challenge ….putting their ingenuity to the test while some African leaders play witch doctor.

The next generation of African children are been left behind digitally while the kleptomaniacs ruling over them play God. And Africa remain the “dark continent”…figuratively and now digitally.


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