Actively encouraging African digital solutions implies building capacity to make the ongoing digital revolution a success. An African tech entrepreneur’s call to the continent’s leaders.
By Amadou Diawara, founder and CEO of Kingui Social
Ladies and Gentlemen African leaders,
I am writing to you today to remind you just how critical for us, the young generations of the continent, the scope of your present and future decisions will be. Carried along by history, our countries will once again have to show self-denial and inventiveness to reinvent themselves. But to successfully meet the challenges of this century, our effective appropriation of new technologies will be essential, as they are the key to the ongoing global digital revolution.
With the digitalization of African economies already well underway, we have the opportunity today to take charge of our future. By 2020, more than one billion Africans will have a cell phone; internet penetration is increasing everywhere while local digital solutions, such as the very popular mobile banking, are in full development. It is insightful, in this regard,that the world is now watching our most talented entrepreneurs with interest. These men and women are in their own way the pathfinders of our continent; the torchbearers who demonstrate that we can be the masters of our game.
But for this positive momentum to be sustained, you, the African leaders, must help us articulate this continental voice in the global debate. How? By being real actors in the promotion of “Made in Africa”digital technology, authentic sales representatives of our digital solutions, and our most convinced consumers. In a word, it is high time to encourage African solutions, in order to lay the foundations of this digital and economic sovereignty to which we all aspire.
Among the African solutions offered by the new digital tools, sourcing optimization (process of identifying and evaluating different suppliers / candidates who can meet a specific need of a company) is one of the most promising avenues. Especially when this approach is based on the tremendous leverage provided by social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, WeChat…) that are very popular among our youth. These are powerful engines of growth of the continental tech that are accessible through multiple channels (smartphones, tablets, computers), and which prove, if need be, that Africa has no complex to have towards the global digital giants.
It is in this spirit that our company, FAMIB Group, has set up a 100% African social media, Kingui Social; it is a way for us to contribute to the digital revolution on the continent. Designed to be a vector of integration and autonomy, Kingui Social offers, besides the traditional features of social media, a marketplace to buy/sell and compare products; an interface to make video calls and video conferences or followdigital and entrepreneurshipnews. All these digital tools are available to our community and will prove to be decisive in facilitating sourcing. Better still, the platform – which is co-built with users, based on their needs, and taking into account their constant feedback – is available in all the major vernacular languages (Bambara, Peul, Wolof, Kiswahili, Lingala…) that make up the linguistic wealth of Africa. Pan-Africanism is also this;a shared (digital) ambition, while respecting the diversity of the continent.
At the beginning of the 21st century, we are counting on you, African leaders, to renew this unique vision upheld by our fathers, in order to be up to today’s digital challenges. Only in this way,we will (re)gain the respect and admiration of the rest of the world.