Can you Hear Us Now?
The world has become a smaller space with the emergence of technology. Tasks have become simpler and it is easy to communicate with people from different parts of the world. The article, Can you hear us now? By Frank Bures explores the impact of technology in the developing countries in Africa. Frank uses his own experiences to explain how technology has grown and is developing Africa. He explains that when he first went to Africa it was difficult to call back home. He says the phones were either broken or too slow to connect. When he returned, several years later he was able to call his wife to be without any difficult from his mobile phone. Africa is need of technology and this technology is essential in the poverty fight. Technology is useful in Africa since it is essential for not only communication but also to provide clean water and easy cooking methods for the women. Frank reports and states that a World Bank report found that technological advances were the primary way of reducing poverty in developing countries (Bures 1). The number of people leaving on less than a dollar per day is expected to reduce with the impact of technology. Developing countries are starting to catch up with the world technology, for instance it is easy to make a phone call from Africa to America. This paper explores ways in which technology can be used to fight poverty. The paper, shall refer to Frank Bures’ paper, Can you hear us?
Developing countries, especially those in Africa are constantly faced with challenges technological, political, and economic. All this challenges are attributed to poor mechanisms of collecting and sharing data essential or decision-making. Through sound policies, catastrophes can be mitigated before they are critical. Using technology means that programs are crafted to help the vulnerable populations deal with various issues facing them (Davis 1). For instance, the wide use of mobile phones can be implemented to ensure democratic elections. Through the biometric technology, election results can be free from manipulation. India is an example of a country that has used this technology. The government of India registered more than 200 million people in the national biometric Identification Effort in a period of less than two years.
Technology is also essential in maintaining peace and unity. Frank Bures, explains one such technology is that developed by Hersman in 2008. Ushahidi.com would let mobile users to report incidences of crime and violence after the Kenyan 2007 post-election violence. Through the technology, it was easy to detect worst hit areas during the violence and put in place mechanism to foster peace. Additionally, Ushahidi.com is used to track elections in India and violence in Congo. The Application is also used to monitor environmental destruction in Madagascar. Ipaidabribe.com is used in India, Kenya, Indonesia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar to curb corruption by allowing people to report corrupt officials anonymously (Mpogole 10).
Most rural parts of Africa depend on firewood for both cooking and lighting. This dependency has resulted in the destruction of forests and is contributing to the global climate change. Previously solar energy was mostly used for cooking. With its limitations however, most women would prefer using firewood for cooking. Using firewood has its health effects; the smoke can cause respiratory diseases especially in children and women. New technologies such as the D-light solar lights are commonly used in most rural parts of Africa. The light is not only cheap to buy, but also cheap to maintain. With such technologies, children can do their homework and women can cook without straining their eyes.
The emergent of new technology has made it easier to transfer money from one country to another. At least every household in Africa owns a mobile phone. Most mobile phone users use them to increase their income and professional opportunities. The phones are also used to provide affordable mobile banking. For example, the M-Pesa service with more than 30 million subscribers is used for mobile money transfer for both people with bank accounts and those who do not have bank accounts (Sindewald 1). Many people in the developing world now own pay pal accounts and are able to do online banking transaction with so much ease.
Technology use also encourages innovation of the human mind. The use of technology should not substitute the human mind. It should however be used to magnifier the human intent and capacity. Technology use should bring out the innovative ideas among children and young adults. The greater the capacity of a person then the more the technology will deliver.
The world is significantly becoming a smaller space with technology. These technological advances are not only witnessed in developed countries but also now witnessed in developing countries. Africa for instance has developed immensely is expected to develop even more with the use of technology. Technology is not only used to fight poverty but also to foster peace and report corrupt individuals. Through Ushahidi.com, the violence is Congo is being followed. Ipaidabribe.com encourages citizens to report corrupt officials without fear of intimidation. These new technology has made it easy to communicate, is also useful in environmental conservation and used in mobile banking. New technology is encouraging innovation among the youth and children.
Bures, Frank. “ Can you hear us.” Winon Daily News, 2015.
Davis, Susan. “Can Technology End Poverty?” Harvard Business Review. March 2013.
Mpogole, Hoseah. “Mobile Phones and poverty alleviation: A survey Study in Rural Tanzania.” Karlstad University, 2008.
Sindewald, Laurel. “On the Effects of Mobile Phones on Poverty in Africa.” Rural Systems, Inc. July 2014.