The tech space is one of the most promising sectors globally but there’s still a lot to be done here for us to exploit it’s full potential.
If your keen to notice, 8 out of the 12 biggest companies in the world in 2020 are tech companies. Only Saudi Aramco an oil company, Berkshire Hathaway, Johnson & Johnson and JP Morgan are not really tech businesses per se.
The rest, Microsoft,Apple,Amazon,Alphabet,Facebook,Tencent and Visa are all tech starts with Aramco the only non tech company in the top 8.
That should tell you where the future is headed. Any one who has been following me keenly will notice that save for Gokafoods the rest of the ventures I am involved in are tech ventures: CampusDoctor, Makulabuys and Boroboro.
As we try to build for the future and compete with others out there its getting hard more so due to the level infrastructure we have here. The low levels of computer literacy have kept the local market pretty thin and also lack of policy to guide and streamline the tech industry.
Infrastructure can only be the responsibility of government as no single individual can have the resources at their disposal to build the national infrastructure required to facilitate the growth of the tech space.
When such responsibility is left to private players whose sole objective is profitability you end up with high costs of services like the internet as private investors look to recoup their investment and rightly so.
Lack of policies make it hard for tech ventures like Safe Boda to thrive in an open and unregulated market where they’re supposed to adhere to certain operation requirements whilst competing with competitors who aren’t bound by any form operational guidelines and rules.
You can’t compete with a private boda when you are a company with all these direct and indirect over head costs that come with high expectations of value from the market.
No wonder Safe Boda is struggling. I am not sure they’re even self sustainable yet the money they’re spending is actually coming from the industry and not outside the industry.
For them to work profitably you’d have to make sure every one is playing on the same levelled field something that can only be achieved through government policy and enforcement.
Then the state has to make sure the level of computer literacy increases in the country through intentional policy actions like giving out computers in school or adding computer lessons to the curriculum at an early level/stage.
This would be through availing affordable electricity in order to make the costs of running these facilities reasonable to the schools. There’s a lot that has to be done in terms of infrastructural development to position us in the right place to benefit from this global tech revolution.
Whatever happened to the promise of free internet in the city!
A state that’s being intentional doesn’t come with more barriers like OTT. This for me shows long term misplaced priorities. There’s much more greater potential online for tech start ups and if we were intentional we’d reap big from some of them as country.
And finally as a people, we also need to improve our attitude and mentality towards the use of tech products and holding our end of the bargain in any business transactions in general.
Many want to access free services or find a way to beat or cheat the system in order to access free services. People want to borrow money say from MTN or Airtel and not pay back. They’ll even go to great lengths to try and avoid paying back.
This is one of our biggest risks and fears as we set up Boroboro. Riders on Safe Boda and other apps like OriRides don’t want or even feel its right to remit these tech business’ share back to the company.
They’ll find all reasons and justification for not doing so. There’s something fundamentally not right about us in that regard that we need to change if we are all going to help one another build this space and benefit from it as a country and as a people.
Jaluum Herberts Luwizza is a Speaker, Writer and Contributor with the Nile Post.He is also a Business Consultant at YOUNG TREP East Africa’s No.1 Business Management and Consultancy firm that helps people start and grow profitable businesses.
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