Regional Chief Commercial Officer at Liquid Intelligent Technologies Zimbabwe, Hemilton Manika says the power of partnerships will help Africa leap over the digital divide into a global economic future.
Writing in a statement, the Liquid boss rhetorically asked whether we can all agree that the future of economic success lies in the ability to actually access the economy.
Manika said, “If we can agree on that, then we can certainly agree that the African economy is not going anywhere if our people still lack access to the tools they need to join a global economy that is driven by digital technology and internet connectivity.”
The digital divide remains one of the greatest obstacles to African economic success. In Zimbabwe, internet penetration stands at a mere 34.4%. That means that two thirds of the population are left out and unable to access an economy that is leaving them behind.
Take a continental step back for a wider view, and the World Bank will show you that internet penetration in Africa is sitting at 18%. That is a staggering roadblock.
It’s clear that access is a monumental African problem. Yet, with lack of access comes lack of skills – so now we have two issues standing in the way of Africa’s economic liberation. To increase our access, and grow our skills, we need to realise that now is the right time to raise our hands and ask for help, not only from each other, but from all players who are willing to engage.
The Liquid Intelligence Chief added, “In my experience, it is only through partnerships with organisations like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Cisco and many others that we can sufficiently multiply access to solutions and skills transfer that can make us competitive on the global scene.”
He said, “It may sound like an obvious summation, but let me give you more reasons to believe in the power of partnerships. As technology becomes more prolific, it also becomes more intrinsic in everything we do as people and as organisations. As such, there is no organisation which will be able to exist in isolation.”
“We need connectivity infrastructure, which needs hardware manufacturers, which in turn needs software solution providers. In fact, every digital service from Cyber Security, to Cloud services and customer relationship management tools exists in a singular ecosystem where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
“It is therefore critical that all stakeholders in this digital ecosystem from public and private sectors to civil society and NGOs collaborate towards a common goal – the economic liberation of a country, and a continent,”said Mr Manika.
Hemilton believes the technological divide is bridged when we all out hands on deck and are up to speed.He continued, “If every organisation and touchpoint fulfils a specific role that matches each partner’s core competencies, they can complement each other’s capabilities – creating an efficient cycle of progress. For this to work, everyone will need to share equally in the risks and benefits if we are to collectively close the digital divide in Africa.”
- Recently on Friday in Raffingora Mashonaland West at the commissioning of the Village Information Centre done by Potraz Director General Dr Gift Machengete and his boss the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services Dr Jenfan Muswere, Liquid Intelligence took to the podium to reinforce this same message as it gave it’s hand in gloves to the Ministry and regulatory authority in helping bridge this digital gap.