KIUNGA: Technology levels ground for Africa to take on world

Youth and women empowerment through entrepreneurship is the new wave that is shaping the entire world. This theme was dominant last week during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES)o-hosted by US President Barack Obama and Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi.

African as a continent may have suffered many injustices in the past and present ranging from slave trade, colonialism, discrimination, brain drain and other biases. These are some of the factors that has often cited as reasons for underdevelopment and inability to compete effectively with the rest of the world.

However, things are now rapidly changing in favour of Africa. It is now a home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world creating great business opportunities. It a is bedrock of innovations that have given birth internationally recognised brands such as Equity Bank, M-Pesa and many others.

Technology is virtually bringing down all barriers that have held African back and levelling ground for fair trade and engagement with the rest of the world. This is the golden opportunity for African to raise and shine.

President Obama rightly noted that all over the world young people are ready to start something of their own to lift up peoples live and shape their own destinies.

Indeed most of the greatest achievements in business and corporate world have been achieved through the generous input of the youth.

Although access to capital, skills and training are issues we are grappling with, we must not cloud the fact that is it far much start and steer business to success today than any other time in history riding on the platform of technology.

Luckily enough technology has become as cheap as table salt and can be accessed through a mobile phone. The evolution of mobile and cellular technology has been touted as the only technology that has been in the hands of mass within a very short time.

It has completely changed our lives, from how communicate, market, shop, bank, educate and entertain ourselves, make decisions, and so on. Through the technology we can perform all those and several other tasks from almost anywhere on the world and at any time.
Almost everything today revolves around the axis of mobile technology.

Last week, Equity Banks launched a new mobile service Equitel.

Quite remarkably London-based investment bank firm, Exotix analysts estimate that by 2019, Equitel would account for half of the banks transactions. Equity has been a pacesetter in many ways and this clearly points at the direction things are heading. Let those who have eyes see.

Any business today that is not aligning itself to technology is bound to fail. This is the high time to realise the potency of the tool you carry everywhere — the mobile phone.

The device is the single most used gadget. Most people can stay for several hours, even days without listening to radio or watching television, but hardly an hour without checking their phone — SMS, WhatsApp, Twitter and so on. This makes it one of the most effective means of reaching out to your clients and stakeholders.

On the side of funding, most governments, NGOs and financial institutions are keen on supporting enterprises all over the world. In fact, billions of shillings have already been committed to supporting businesses, especially those run by youths and women, two of the groups conceded to me marginalised or in need of greatest boost.

This is good news to the entire business fraternity. Like sun when money is in the economy it shines on everyone.

Mr Kiunga is a business trainer and the author of ‘The Entrepreneurial Journey: From Employment to Business’. Email: