Can Technology Make South Africa A More Equal Country?
South Africa is the most unequal country in the world, according to a recent report published by the World Bank. Although apartheid in the country officially came to an end almost 25 years ago, much of the current day inequality is a lingering result of this dark period in the nation’s history, and rising poverty is still concentrated among the black population in areas that were previously disadvantaged. Beyond this racial economic divide, young South Africans have been hit hard by current economic conditions, as more than one out of every three young South Africans were not in employment, education, or training in the first quarter of 2018.
How can this cycle of inequality and poverty–so deeply rooted in the country’s past and present–be broken? Legislation surely plays a role, but top-down laws on a national scale either do not tangibly and equitably create change, or take years, if not decades, to bear fruit. South Africa requires a solution today to remove itself from this vicious cycle, and technology can be an instrumental accelerator in this effort.
From Forbes. Story by .
Technology has the power to help level the economic playing field in South Africa, facilitating more and better access to money and access to jobs. In fact, technology-driven change is already underway in the country, as I witnessed firsthand while spending time there exploring the local startup ecosystem. Here’s how technology is being used and can be used to make South Africa a more equal country.
One way technology companies are helping expand economic opportunity to a broader segment of the population is by making it easier and more affordable for South Africans to access and send money. As internet and smartphone penetration in the country continues to increase, and card-based payments gain traction, fintech companies have emerged and responded to these trends by building digital solutions to give both merchants and consumers more control over their money. Below are a couple of examples of innovative South African fintech companies doing their part to reduce the barriers between the informal and formal financial systems and economies.
Read more at Forbes.