Africa, the future isn’t utopia


Thirty-three years have passed since the Live Aid solidarity project. It was the first big meeting live on TV, ninety-five percent of televisions connected from all over the planet. The world of rock tightened in support of Africa.

In general, my controversy about television doesn’t concern the proposed content, but the choice of the show schedule. There are some interesting Tv shows, but they are broadcast or in the late evening (even after midnight…) or early in the morning (very early). It’s all about supply and demand, the synthesis between the interests of the average public and the need of share. In short, it’s impossible come out from it. Some evening ago, well beyond twenty-three hours, I watched Codice, the Rai Uno Tv show conducted by Barbara Carfagna. It was the episode entitled Erano Terzo Mondo (it was the third world).



It’s called Leapfrogging, i.e. frog jump. In our country was the game of horseback, in the place I lived, simply Three Three, Down Down. Players are placed at ninety degrees and a jumper must jump on the back of his friends and then take the same position, leaving the jump to the last friend of the row.

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Developing countries adopt the same principle. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose, compared to Western countries which have basic services, such as water, roads, health, just to name a few. Incentives and motivations make the difference, always. Necessity is the matrix of innovations. Companies arise to meet the unmet needs of government or institutions. It’s difficult to hypothesize the balance of the world in a few decades.



In Africa 230 million people use a smartphone and 780 million a common cellphone, numbers higher than Europe and North America. A backstory of 2002 shows in Uganda, Botswana, Ghana, British researchers note people made something unusual: they exchange the credit of the mobile by calling for brief moments and reloading each other, using, in fact, virtual money in way not considered yet.

Today in Kenya, the 70% of daily payments (virtual and real) are made via mobile phones and reach six billion transactions a year. This thanks to M Pesa, a mobile payment system. This is an app which allows you to move money by writing the payee’s phone number. In this way you can pay the restaurant or your shopping…twenty million Kenyans use the M Pesa software.

It’s true that even the PayPal service (digital payments and internet money transfers without sharing the card data between the sender and the recipient, typing only the e-mail address), can be used in more than two hundred countries between South America, North America, Europe, Asia and Africa, but it concerns the traffic from computers and only recently were born the first apps for smartphone.



Cryptocurrency or electronic money (a unit of equal exchange, digital and especially decentralized by the state authorities, based on cryptography), today is no longer an abstract payment currency. You can buy cryptocurrencies with a mobile phone which consequently acts like a credit card. You can already pay hotels and buses in Nairobi. This system will allow millions of people living in villages to participate in the collective economy by buying goods all over the world without the intermediation of banks and bureaucracy.



The use of smartphones is also extended to services related to education. At the University of Nairobi, an online project was born and allows you to follow video lessons on the web. Thanks to this idea, school courses become available also for refugees from refugee camps who have the opportunity to continue their studies.



Med Book Africa is a system through which you can upload on your smartphone, analysis, visits and drugs used…in short, all your medical profile so that it’s available for each doctor. It’s also used to find the nearest doctors, and to start a first consultation via chat.



It’s a solar-powered computer system which allows you to purify water from any contamination and make it drinkable. It generates electricity off the grid and it can also act like an advanced telecommunications system. It’s as big as a tennis court and can bring internet, electricity and water everywhere.

Thinking about the use we Westerners make of technology and raw materials, all this would be a moral slap, if we were able to grasp its effect. It’s the aridity which moves from the heart of Africa into ours.

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