A Kenyan basic needs are food, shelter, clothing and connectivity. When an average Kenyan wakes up in the morning, they don’t touch their spouse, (if they are married) or walk the dog, or make breakfast. They pick up the phone, open all the social media application and go through them if not all, most of them. This is a new era of technology, I remember a while back there was this big argument that IT sector is going to overtake Electricity as a cable consumer, yes, and even I wondered how? But today, we talk undersea cables. This is the era, while you are a sleep, computers are trading in bitcoins, credit cards are being accessed, and hackers are looking around in your personal information-how much you are worth, the world in still awake by the fact that they are connected to the internet.
Technology has played a very important role and still does in improving the way we live, work and interact. I can start to mention a million smart inventions that we enjoy today, but then, it will take a million years.., no am kidding. Yes but you will agree with me, from complex and high end to simple and free, easy to use, available technology is always around us. The world today is filled with smartphones-both high end and low cost that are a million times faster than the computer on the Apollo11, yes it means today, we can go to the moon faster and easier that we did decades ago. Am not an astronaut but am sure you get my point.
When the World Wide Web was invented by English scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, He didn’t maybe imagine how his invention will colonize the world, yea true, the level at which we are dependent on technology would be described as the colonization of the human race. But that’s just the bad side, the good side is that we are able to improve how we do things and how we connect with xyz. So, we buried the old way of doing things and opted for the new, and a new world emerged. Today, the only physical mail I get is from eBay, yes, I shop online sometimes. I hold an iPhone 4s I got from my sister when she upgraded to a 6s, yes, that’s how good this stuff are designed, to last longer. With it, I can make calls, browse the internet, hold skype meetings, and connect to personalized business applications and transfer and receive money.
In Kenya, there are many invention that surround the mobile phone and connectivity. Internet connectivity alone adds around 4% to our GDP, no wonder our government has been so reluctant to regulate it, or maybe today, we just have the best government. M-Pesa allows you to send and receive money, receive-from everywhere in the world. M-Shuari another invention allows you to save on your mobile account and you can get loans against your savings. Okoa-Jahazi, another invention allows you to get airtime on credit, just in case you are stuck and needed to make that urgent call and you have no money to buy airtime.
We have local apps that connects us to our back accounts and we can check balances and transfer funds, others connect us to the road, we can check the flow of traffic and see which routes to avoid, others connects us to family and friends we haven’t seen for years just because they are stuck in the land of opportunity, without documentation and are not able to travel home. We are able to get new alerts from when they happen, where they are happening. Videos have been used in concluding investigations and closing cases. The world has been turned around with technology and the future is as bright and you can imagine. Today, I got a call from my friend, he was very worried that after googling my name, he did not find much. Yes, we are on google, your CV is in a cloud somewhere and every time you need it, you request and it appears.
There is no doubt that information technology has been the best invention since man landed on the moon, and it has been a big employer and customer to many. Today, we are able to access information on the GO, when I go to my doctor and explain my symptoms, he always runs on Google, (this is a bad example but true). It doesn’t matter how you use this tool, it may create heaven or hell.