Samuel Osei Mensah

Author Archives: Samuel Osei Mensah

Emerging Technologies: Bridging the Digital Gap in Africa

With all the excitement about the role of technology in contributing to social change and improved development outcomes across Africa, it is easy to forget that only 11% of the world’s Internet subscribers are Africans, while only 35.2% of Africans use the Internet. An effective science and innovation system in any country, and globally, I believe, depends on strong basic research and higher education infrastructure. In addition to knowledge production, basic research facilities, development of human resources, and applications are critical. But in the course of conducting, applying, and managing research, both researchers and managers of research and innovation have information needs. These needs must be satisfied in order for the scientists and the science innovation system to function effectively.

My recent participation at the 13th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris as a [email protected] Fellows brought me closer to the realization that technology has really increased the speed and reach of information everywhere – and now to communities in Africa.

Africa is leapfrogging information and communication technology development, which is also fueled by mobile broadband, but there are also worrying trends, such as a growing the digital divide between men and women, and between urban and rural areas.

Continue reading