Many IT giants are looking into Africa regarding its potential opportunity. Google is now working on Project Link for the improvement of the Internet access. Microsoft and Intel are supporting start-up communities in Uganda. Microsoft in Uganada holds Savannah Forum. Luckily, I had a chance to meet with Hive Colab team. Brian is now leading the team.
The team is now non-profit organization. Therefore, the team has no right to invest on the stock share of the start-ups. It is just working as incubators. The team has been focusing on the universal service such as ICT adopted with agriculture industry. Making application for Farmers or Fishers in Uganda. For your reference, around 50% GDP of Uganda accrues from agriculture industry. Therefore the universal service has been focused on the agriculture.
Many applications were developed for agriculture industry labors. Due to the smartphone device penetration by operating system and the penetration rate of featured device, the team has developed application for Android OS and application for feature device. The applications are focused on the education course like Coursera, and the information that has been mashed up with GPS information. However there are some issues; the infrastructure.
The ICT infrastructure has not been provided sustainably. Actually the team has stopped providing application service due to the IT infrastructure shortage. Second barrier is the essential infrastructure such as electricity. As the applications should be used by farmers, but the fact is that farmers do not have facilities to charge their device. Grameen foundation has deployed device that is being charged by solar panel on the back of the device. However the figure seems to be too small.
Therefore sustainable support from IT giants should be the factors to realize the potentiality in Africa. The developers in Africa have many talents to make their imagination to be realized. But the issues have been this; Infrastructure and the sustainable support.