Africa: Cloud Computing’s Secret Weapon

Africa: Cloud Computing’s Secret Weapon

Cloud computing’s best opportunity for unparalleled progress and worldwide relevance lies in how deeply and effectively it penetrates the African information technology community. Point blank. Why is this so? Simply because the massive continent remains in the dark ages of technology of all sorts, a condition which has fostered as many difficulties in thwarting this lack of progress as it has defined Africa as a potential gold mine for the cloud computing set.

Reconnaissance of Africa’s technologically stunted growth provides vital context. As the African Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania concludes, “Africa seems to be the ‘lost continent’ of the information technologies. The second largest continent is the least computerized, and its more than two score countries have an average telephone density that is an order of magnitude smaller than that of the European Community.”

The article continues to point out that technological advancement is a princess problem for a continent unfairly troubled by historic and continued exploitation of its resources, civil unrest, and arguably some of the worst problems of health, economy, and education that Earth has ever witnessed. Cloud computing can hardly remedy these centuries-long tribulations singlehandedly.

Yet this IT revolution does have the propensity to introduce widespread internet connectivity and serve as a litmus test and crucible for cloud’s potential effectiveness to renovate communities and instigate authentic social change. The lessons cloud could learn from boosting Africa’s IT power could ripple into impoverished localities elsewhere in the world, including in the States.

ArsTechnica’s recent article on the subject of cloud in Africa outlines the primary specific areas of challenge and improvement on which cloud computing can focus: access to adequate power for data centers; the lack of sufficient broadband and telecommunications heft; and the nonexistence of any infrastructure that could currently sustain a major technological overhaul. Yet the article also defines this “Wild Wild West” aesthetic as cloud’s advantage and opportunity to demonstrate its wonders.

In the place of a traditional IT infrastructure has emerged an impressive precedent of mobile applications that saturate the continent, from SafariCom’s Mobile M-PESA to the Kenyan phenomenon of iCow, an app designed to help farmers manage cow husbandry and veterinary care and recently hailed by Forbes as Africa’s best.

Indeed, Africa’s boom in mobile technology — “by 2015, 138 million mobile users in Africa will be customers with no electrical utility service” — has laid the groundwork for cloud to galvanize its countries in an exciting way. Such specific IT empowerment, however, can only take place best when cloud concentrates on deep respect for individual African communities first, rather than a blind blanketing of Africa as a whole.

By Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman is a freelance writer currently based in New York City. He's moved into writing about cloud computing from substantial work in culture and the arts. He earned his undergraduate degree in English at Stanford and has studied at Oxford and Cambridge.

2 Responses to Africa: Cloud Computing’s Secret Weapon

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

What is the 12/12 Program?

This program is designed to better handle the thousands of requests we receive from people looking to submit articles. The 12/12 program is the commitment of 12 articles delivered over a 12-month period.  

Wait! What if I just want to submit one article?

Our popular pay as you go sponsorship program provides the flexibility to submit as you wish and is designed for all budgets.

Contributors

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips for Successful Business Intelligence Implementation The cost of Business Intelligence (BI) software goes far beyond the purchase price. Time spent researching, implementing, and maintaining your BI investment can snowball quickly and mistakes are often expensive. Your time is valuable – save it by learning from other businesses’ experiences. We’ve compiled the top ten

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

How Do These Two Compare? In Boy Scouts, I learned how to tie knots. The quickest knot you can tie is the slipknot. It’s very effective for connecting one thing to another via the rope you have. It was used in setting up tents, mooring boats to docks temporarily and lifting your food up into

What Ever Happened To Google Glass?

What Ever Happened To Google Glass?

What Ever Happened to Google Glass? It was supposed to be the next big thing in tech so where did it go? Last year you could not go anywhere without hearing about some insane new use for the product and now it seems to have vanished in a plume of smoke. A Lackluster Rollout Back

Posted on by

Big Data

To Have and Have Not: Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries

To Have and Have Not: Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries

Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries The poor of the developing countries are becoming increasingly connected, to the point where they too are part of the Big Data revolution that’s happening across the globe. It didn’t come with laptops, though, as some supposed it would. Whereas it costs a fortune to connect broadband to a

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data in Your Garden Big Data and IoT initiatives are springing up all across the globe, making cities, protesters–and just about everything else–smarter. However, thus far there’s been little attention paid to the interactions between these bizarre technologies and living things other than humans. Biology, that is, human biology is one field where Big

Who Holds the Key to the City: Big Data and City Management

Who Holds the Key to the City: Big Data and City Management

Big Data and City Management Cities like New York, Madrid, and especially Rio de Janeiro are augmented with Big Data-powered initiatives that range from combating crime with predictive analytics (New York & Madrid) to providing real-time data for improved management. Although Big Data is no panacea and is mainly used in conjunction with a greater

Internet of Things

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital? We all know the capitals of fashion are London, New York and Paris, while the capital of film is Hollywood (or Bollywood!) – but what’s the new capital of the internet? Specifically, the internet of things? The answer – according to new research by Ozy – might surprise you. It’s not Tokyo, Seoul,

Smart Cities – How Big Data Is Changing The Power Grid

Smart Cities – How Big Data Is Changing The Power Grid

Smart Cities And Big Data As Anthony Townsend argues in his SMART CITIES, even though the communications industry has changed beyond recognition since its inception, the way we consume power has remained stubbornly anachronistic. The rules of physics are, of course, partially to blame, for making grid networks harder to decentralize, as opposed to communication

Aggregated News

Popular News Sources

Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the Human Wrist

Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the Human Wrist

It’s not just a thumb war, it’s total digit war The battle for the future of the human wrist entered a new phase on Monday after it was claimed that tech goliath Microsoft is planning to release its own wearable computer in the coming weeks.…Read the source article at The Register About Latest Posts Jeff

Standards Organization ISO Takes on Cloud Computing Standards

Standards Organization ISO Takes on Cloud Computing Standards

Given the quality differences in different cloud services and issues of compatibility, ISO, the world’s best known standards body has issued two standards related to cloud computing…. Read the source article at Web Host Industry Review About Latest Posts Jeff NormanJeff Norman is a freelance writer currently based in New York City. He’s moved into

IBM Paying $1.5 Billion to Shed Its Chip Division

IBM Paying $1.5 Billion to Shed Its Chip Division

IBM will pay $1.5 billion to Globalfoundries in order to shed its costly chip division. IBM will make payments to the chipmaker over three years, but it took a $4.7 billion charge for the third quarter when it reported earnings Monday. Read the source article at Mashable About Latest Posts Jeff NormanJeff Norman is a freelance