Up until just recently, I had no idea that continent Africa was the youngest continent in the world. Yes, Africa’s internet adoption may be on the rise, but it is still fairly new. Fascinating isn’t it? And also quite ironic, considering that we are one of the richest continents in resources. I suppose us being a young continent in the internet arena, means that we are likely to adopt the internet’s advances at a more rapid pace than other continents. Africa’s ‘hunger’ to grasp and adopt these vast digital developments puts it in an advantageous, yet vulnerable place. While the rest of the globe is keeping abreast of digital technologies and targeting Africa as a consumer, Africans must be careful not to remain mere receptors of the internet, but people who are digital innovators too.
Africa, a global internet giant or a global internet baby?
There is no denying that Africa has the power to be an internet force to be reckoned with, but its rapid adoption of the internet has been marred by challenges that have had a global impact on it. One of these global challenges was the recent outbreak of FNB phishing scams , (identity theft and fraud conducted via online banking). These internet scams left many Africans with new fears of the internet and its safety.
Although the matter was ruled off as a case of ‘internal misconduct’, the damage had already been done. This makes one wonder if the youngest continent will ever move from being an internet baby to being a global internet giant? Choosing to study, shop, or access your bank account online, could end up being a total nightmare, with hackers constantly finding loopholes in digital internet systems.
Continent Africa, youngest continent becoming a catalyst for internet safety
At the 2016 South African Parliament gathering on OTT regulation, two of the country’s leading network giants Vodacom and MTN, expressed their concerns over OTT services being a risk to users. They further emphasised how the same OTT services do not contribute financially to local networks.
The internet’s disadvantageous need Africa
The online news portal, mynewsroom.co.za published an article that listed the disadvantages of the internet, amongst the points listed, most seemed to support the idea that the majority of internet content is irrelevant, inappropriate and redundant. This very discovery creates a huge gap for African content. African writers and bloggers can either stand there and watch, or start filling Google pages with African-friendly, rich and impactful content.It is through this content that we can empower and groom our own people. As a Pan-Africanist writer, I see a place for Africa to be a catalyst for a positive internet movement because the internet needs Africa more today than it ever did.