2017 has been the year that the term disruptive technologies has dominated technology discussions as there has been a lot of technological innovations and development that has changed technology and humanity. Every year ushers in different technological trends and 2018 will be just the same.
As expected, the telecoms industry did extremely well in Zimbabwe in 2017, but more could have been done, considering the times we are living were there is more convergence in how we communicate, do business and innovate as far as technology is concerned.
From growth in mobile money services to the use of billions of gigs in data to a lot of political engagement on social media, there were a lot of things that happened that relates to technology in Zimbabwe and around the world.
A lot of challenges will be on the financial side, given our economic situation in Zimbabwe. But with a lot of support from all stakeholders, there will be a lot of technological advancement in Zimbabwe.
When ICT minister Super Mandiwanzira led a delegation to the ITU Telecoms Word 2017 in South Korea, there were a lot of talk about the most innovative ideas and the need to bring the world together in terms of technology. This is where we have been headed, and while we are not there yet, we have the potential of getting there and even going beyond.
Technology has been changing a lot including healthcare and POTRAZ Director General Dr Gift Machengete once urged the world to promote universal health at an ITU event in Argentina, showing how much technology can do to help solve the problems of this world.
Here are the top technological trends to expect in 2018:-
Growth in mobile money services
The cash crisis has seen the rise in use of plastic and mobile money in Zimbabwe. While people still prefer to use cash, there has been a lot of improvement as far as the adoption of plastic money is concerned. Banks and mobile money services have also made inroads to ensure that transactions are timely so as not to affect businesses and people alike.
Speaking at the Zimbabwe Currency Dialogue 2017 event hosted by Econometer Global, deputy Finance and Economic Development minister Hon Terence Mukupe urged the RBZ to reform. With these reforms, we would expect them to affect the mobile money services in a way that will be beneficial for the country.
More Tech Start ups
At TechnoMag, we have interviewed and written a lot about tech start ups that are poised to shake up the country. The technology sector seems like the go-to sector for most youths who wish to start their businesses given the high unemployment situation in this country.
Having entered a new political dispensation, there are a lot of positive expectations that may work in favour of the development of a vibrant technology sector in Zimbabwe that will usher in a lot of start ups.
Both president Mnangagwa and the Finance minister Chinamasa have expressed interest in improving ICT in the government to achieve a number of goals including curbing corruption and cutting expenditure, all this going a lot to contributing in the development of technology in the country.
Social Media Regulations
2017 saw the introduction of cyber security ministry to curb the growing social media abuse in the country. With elections coming soon, a lot of social media regulations should be expected. While we have moved from the regime that created cyber security ministry to curb social media abuse, there is still need to arrest some of these social media abuses.
There will be a lot of debate for and against the social media regulations, but in a lot of ways, regulations are required as the internet left to the people’s hands, will lead to the destruction. It is also important to note that, too much regulation will do more harm than good, thus, calling for a good compromise, which is easier said than done.
But the major problem with social media regulation, or any internet regulation is that, there isn’t a point that will satisfy all parties involved. There will always be a party that will cry foul over any point the regulations would have reached, whether there is too much regulations, or none at all.
Adoption of Cloud services
Earlier this year, TelOne opened their data centre, a $4 million beautiful facility.There are a lot of companies here in Zimbabwe that are offering cloud services.
Businesses are moving from being labour intensive to being ICT intensive and the demand for cloud services will surely increase.