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Back to the future

May 8 · Issue #1 · View online
iAfrikan Daily Brief
Like Marty McFly in the famous movie, nowadays it often feels like we are being thrust into the future at 88 mph (that’s 141 km/h for the people who use the Metric System). Technologies which were mentioned in the Back to the Future movies which seemed far-fetched are now part of our daily lives.

In the three-part movie, technologies that didn’t exist during the mid-to-late 1980s when the movies were released, we take them for granted today. These include Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, 3D movies, flat-screen smart TVs, Voice Assistants, and many more.
Marty receives a call on his smart glasses. Back To The Future II (1989)
Today, there are other technologies that have not yet realized their full potential yet but seem inevitable. Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Autonomous Vehicles, and many others, are shaping the world around us at a fast pace. However, as with technologies that precede them, Africa as a whole is at risk of being left behind. 
This is why I like the question that David Okwii posed in his article that reminisces about the digital technology that has shaped Africa and the emerging technologies that are going to have a great impact on the continent:

Currently, Africans are mostly consumers of technology rather than producers. Which begs the question: can we truly control our digital future?

What does the future hold for Africa?

Or will it be back to the same patterns of us being consumers and not producers?

Something to definitely ponder on.
🎥 Talking of Back To The Future, if you haven’t already, consider going to watch Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame. Not only did it smash the record for opening weekend cinema ticket sales, it also reached the $2 billion sales mark in record time (11 days). More importantly, apart from the Back To The Future references in the movie, it explores the concept of time travel. Link

💸 New technologies are usually great, but as M-PESA also experienced in Kenya, there are always challenges. Some of those challenges can involve opportunists who have found ways to steal your customers’ mobile money. Link

😢 To propel Africa forward into what is now commonly known as the 4th Industrial Revolution, we need more people who are willing to be creators of new digital technology solutions. However, starting a startup can be a brutal process as Oluwatobi Ogunwande learned while trying to build Africa’s Netflix. Link

🤖 One of the key emerging technologies is Artificial Intelligence. Many people confuse it with automation. The two are fundamentally different. Link

📱 MTN has been quite “busy” recently. First it announced that it had changed the status of its Nigerian subsidiary from a Private company to a Public Limited Company (Plc). Then, last week, it announced sweeping changes to its Board including the formation of an Advisory Board headed up by former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Now, rumor is that they have applied to list MTN Nigeria on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Link

That’s all for today. Cheers!
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