How Tech Entrepreneurs Are Driving Change in Africa

Written by Ann Brown

In 2016, the internet was declared a basic human right by the United Nations. However, access to technology in some African countries still remains at alarmingly low rates. Some people are addressing this issue with nationwide initiatives designed to increase access. Revolutionary apps, innovative problem solving and job creation are byproducts of increased access to technology. In this article, five of the brightest tech entrepreneurs in Africa who are addressing the digital gap and inventing revolutionary devices and businesses are presented.

From Borgen Magazine.

Photo by Anas Alshanti on Unsplash

Access to technology for African women is constrained by socially and culturally constructed gender roles limiting the women participation in equal terms. Tech entrepreneur Maneo Mapharisa, the founder of Girls Coding Academy (GCA), aims to challenge these archaic constructs by encouraging and supporting more girls as they pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) fields. In South Africa, young girls who desire a career in technology rarely have support from their families or schools, and without encouragement, they run the risk of losing interest in this field. Through club and campus programs and summer immersion GCA is dedicated to equipping young girls with technological skills. Women’s increased participation in these fields could, potentially, play a part in rural poverty reduction as the skills and knowledge that are acquired allows them to increase their earnings increasing wealth and economic development.

Brian Gitta (24), from Uganda, is one of the brightest and youngest tech entrepreneurs in Africa and he wants to eradicate malaria in Uganda. Malaria is endemic in approximately 95 percent of the country, affecting 90 percent of the population of 3 million people. Just ask Gitta who contracted the disease three times, traditional blood test failing to properly diagnose him on each occasion. From this experience, Gitta set out to invent a device that was more efficient and did not require collecting blood.

Read more at Borgen Magazine.