President Zuma on ICT for Africa at the AU
In a very telegraphic style, Jacob Zuma pointed out that ICT's are a potential vehicle toward unlocking the potential of Africa and bringing its countries together for our mutual benefit.
The following are all really truisms in any netizens mind, however they are not generally accepted, so to hear this from Zuma is quite a thing:
- Technology is shaping the future of the world, challenging geographical boundaries and revolutionising economic, social and political activity.
- Information technology has the capacity to improve living standards for millions of people on the continent.
- At the same time, it has the potential to reverse existing inequality and marginalisation. For Africa, information and communication technology is not simply about science.
- Nor should it merely be viewed as another economic sector, like agriculture or mining.
Zuma is a populist - he has his fingers on the pulse of what the people want. In this speech, he has clearly been influenced by the younger set and is projecting a forward thinking South Africa as a guiding light for the continent. This really makes it clear that the people love technology and communicating. (E.g. the favourite feature of awareNet so far is the chat function.) This does represent a shift of power on the continent as hierarchies are replaced by networks. And markets. Control of the media is not as effective, when people are allowed to communicate p2p / f2f in a free manner.
Every metre of fibre laid, strengthens and extends the rope-ladder which is going to hoist the African people out of impoverishment.
March 20th 2010 06:08