Why Pricing Slows Technological Uptake In Africa

Written by Kevin Mwanza

Written by Mariia Lvovych | From BLOGS.NaturalNews

The sales of technological devices have never really flourished in the continent of Africa – until recently. As a result, for many decades, Africans have had to catch up with the world’s advancement in the tech scene at a much latter time.

Perhaps, the single most influential factor in perpetuating this state of things is cost. The latest gadgets are generally regarded as a luxury by a large percentage of the continent’s working class due to their price tags, which are seen as exorbitant. Many, therefore, content themselves with archaic used devices from abroad – which are relatively cheaper, although there’s no guarantee of their quality and condition.

There are many reasons why people in Africa make a big fuss over the prices of gadgets that have hitherto done well in markets all over the world. To begin, the economic divide between the ‘first’ and the ‘third’ world means the spending power of the population in these two regions cannot be compared. Also, in many countries in Africa, the market for personal loans (via credit cards) and its associatedservices remains largely underdeveloped.

Additionally, until recently there were no tech manufacturers in the continent. This means every new gadget had to be imported and therefore bore an extra cost for transportation and import tariffs. To top this, in most remote places, the right infrastructure (such as electricity supply and internet connectivity) to support the latest gadgets were not even available until the past few decades – and some regions still persist in this state even today.

These issues notwithstanding, it would be inaccurate to say Africa is oblivious to technological development or that only low-end devices have thrived in the African market as the desires of the upper class have not been completely restrained by these issues.

But things are changing quickly with the burgeoning middle class joining the fray.  More people are now aware of the contemporary technological trends and are eager to acquire the latest gadgets. The market for used devices is being forced to keep up with the times too and many governments have slashed or completed voided the tariffs on the importation of technological items.

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