Headline, January 15 2022/ ''' '' SILICON VALLEY'S SLIVERS '' ''' : AFRICA



TO TAKE NIGERIA AS A CASE STUDY - THERE ARE SEVERAL challenges to '' technodevelopment '' as a driver of economic stability. The first is the lack of basic physical infrastructure.

Nigeria is missing a reliable electricity grid to power businesses 24/7, and the country also lacks reliable, low-cost rapid internet service.

Recruiting and retaining capable engineers to run a better power grid necessitates concerted efforts to reverse the ''brain drain'' of engineers from Nigeria to countries in North America and Europe, where they generally find better pay.

Tech investors and philanthropists like Bill Gates who are truly interested in accelerating the development of African countries could establish fellowships to provide economic security for technically trained workers.


Jack Dorsey - the billionaire co-founder of Twitter, is a major investor on the African continent. Meta's C.E.O., Mark Zuckerberg, has heavily invested in tech start-ups in Nigeria. Earlier last year. The Economist declared that Africa is the only region in the world ''not suffering from a slowdown in venture capital.''

What are the tangible benefits of this infusion of venture capital for everyday Africans?

Developing nations in Africa have yet to experience enduring political, economic or social development gains from Silicon Valley's financial speculation. A worry still is that these nations will never see any true benefits from tech investments until tech investors address the lack of the basic infrastructure necessary to support business success.

The promises of tech boom seem particularly fantastical given the reality of life in these developing nations. A few months ago, I was sitting in my home office in Lagos, Nigeria, conducting an interview via Zoom when the electricity went out for the second time that day.

I would normally turn to the generator, but the generator runs on diesel, and I had not been able to buy any the previous day because of a nationwide shortage. I spent the rest of the evening in darkness. This was not an uncommon occurrence during my time as a U.S. Fulbright scholar there from 2021 to July 2022.

The news that I had chosen to spend a year as a Fulbright scholar in Nigeria was met with alarm by some. In the average American imagination, the entire African continent remains shrouded in danger and deprivation.

For some the points of reference for Africa are the paternalistic, woebegone portrays of a war-torn and poverty stricken region in desperate need of Western resources - or the more malevolent depictions of disease-ridden continent.

Nigeria, in particular, has been struck with the label of being host to a sophisticated scam industry, despite research showing that the ''Nigerian prince'' wire fraud can now come from almost anywhere.

The new American interest in Africa as a hospitable site for tech business investment is part of a paradigm that I call ''technodevelopment'' - the idea that technological development will also drive economic, political and social development.

Some see the development of tech industries on the African continent as a step toward building a type of Wakanda, the technologically and economically advanced fictional African nation depicted in Marvel's ''Black Panther'' and ''Wakanda Forever'' films.

However, Silicon Valley's progress in Africa has fallen short. Mr. Dorsey, in a visit to Ethiopia in 2019, declared he would move to Africa for a brief period, but backpedaled on those plans amid the pandemic and attacks by critics that he was overstretching himself, given that he was C.E.O. of both Twitter and Square at the time.

Meta [then Facebook] attempted to become the face of the internet for developing nations through its Free Basics initiative, which would offer users access to the internet through its mobile phones.

Presented as philanthropic, the initiative was roundly criticized as ''digital colonialism'' because of the way it confined users to content preselected by Facebook.

This violated the net neutrality principle - the idea that internet users should have equal access to all sites - and generated accusations that Facebook was attempting to manipulate the flow of information.

Although the initiative was banned in India in 2016, it has continued to expand to several African countries, with some mobile carriers reportedly charging users. Still, Facebook projected that the initiative would help the platform acquire about 10 million new monthly users in the second half of 2021.

There is a concern that some African countries are being duped by Silicon Valley players who inject capital into the continent and extract talent and cheap labor, without necessarily battering those nations.

The truth is that the continent's developing nations have yet to experience any enduring gains from all of the financial speculation.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Silicon Valley, Technology, Africa and the Reality Check, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Ifeoma Ajunwa.

With respectful dedication to the Philanthropists, Investors, the people of African continent, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare & register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!