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Watch out World, Africa is Logging On

August 24, 2010 - 26 Comments

I’m reading about a 24-year-old who started a computer skills business in his bedroom and now has three training centers. This isn’t in the San Jose Mercury News, though. It’s in Kenya’s Daily Nation and the young man in question, Stephen Orioki, is more than your average entrepreneur.

As the head of a tech training business in Kibera, one of Africa’s largest shanty towns, he is not so much worried about venture capital as whether he will get through the day without a power cut. His launch pad was the Cisco Networking Academy, which has been training Kiberans since 2007.

He is not the only success story from the Academy in the region. As we report on News@Cisco, hearing-impaired Andrew Nyongesa Wasike, a graduate of an initiative between the Academy and charity Deaf Aid, gained notoriety after testing 80 computers in a day as an IT technician.

Such tales have so far been rare because Africans have not had Internet access. But that is changing. Cisco VP for Africa and Levant Yvon Le Roux says recent years have seen a surge in the number of oceanic cables linking the continent to the rest of the world.

With widespread access to affordable broadband now close to reality, and training increasingly available, how many more Oriokis and Wasikes will we be seeing soon? India has shown how a developing economy can leapfrog developed nations in IT terms once it has access to connectivity.

Unheard of a decade ago, its technology sector now boasts world-leading names such as Bharti, Reliance and Tata Consultancy Services. Will Africa, with a similar-sized population and perhaps even greater incentives to overcome the digital divide, pull off a similar feat?

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  1. Hi! I am from South-Africa and it's quite nice that people feel so much optimistic about Africa. I too think there will definitely rise a lot of talent from Africa in the years to come and especially with the innovative internet"" that keeps changing and changing and in the so doing could create various unthought job opportunities in Africa.Jason @ I need lots of money now"

  2. Africa Sttovq in the future because it has elements of a good is a rival but lacking the money

  3. That's great, I am glad that everybody will soon have access to the web as it is really freedom to have all of this information at your fingertips.

  4. Good luck to Stephen and to all of Africa in catching up with the digital divide.One thing that I worry about for Africa and some other parts of the world is that spammers and scammers may really hurt their country's hopes for internet success. I've had to ban huge IP ranges from some parts of Africa from accessing my site due to scammers from places like Senegal and Nigeria. I think I've ended up banning almost all of Senegal for example. It worries me that genuine people from such areas of the world may end up getting blocked from a lot of internet sites, due to sites needing to block the flood of scammers from such countries. This would then end up with those countries then, even though they may have overcome the digital divide"" of actually being able to get online, being hurt by the divide of actual site access. I'm not sure what the answer is, apart from maybe very severe punishments in those countries for scamming and spamming."

  5. i think africa will be great

  6. Access to technology is a critical component, BUT not because it connects the continent to intellectual resources across the globe! The key is that technology has the potential to create cultural change. Much of Africa is undeveloped because of how the cultures value these tools and the fruits of these tools, not because they lack access.

  7. I'm convinced Africa will make the move forward and think that many will be surprised by how fast it will go!

  8. I think africa will be the best a year again..Unjani!

  9. Its great to see things like this, countries like India have already proven how the web can empower budding entrepreneurs and put them on the same playing field as the West. I hadn't really considered Africa before so it'll be interesting to see how it develops.

  10. Thats so good for a guy from Kenya to be in CISCO VIP, with all these problems in that country. but i believe that Africa is going to be on the Technology stage in the next few days.

  11. I'm not sure many people in Africa want the access to the Internet. I think most who want the access had been to the USA or Europe. Internet expansion should begin from schools or even earlier.

  12. Africa will one day show the world the real way to build a society. Good for them.

  13. It is not going to be an overnight change. First African Economies have to start to transition from a production/natural resources based economy to the service sector. Then other countries have to recognize and outsource to Africa. This could take 50 years!

  14. This was a very nice read with a lot of information within. Awesome article by the author! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  15. This is something really inspiring. Another one I read about was a millionaire boy of age 16 who is the CEO of

  16. I am excited to be assisting people in the Solomon Islands to build an internet cafe at the school grounds in Gilbert Camp Solomon Islands. I truly believe that this is a gift that will keep giving. AsppireLtd.

  17. A very inspiring story, it just goes to show the old saying of it's not how much resources you have it is how resourceful you are"" that is true."

  18. This is good for the boy and for african people, I wish all yonger person doing good thing use the free time on the right thing.

  19. Great story!Definitely the internet has created a world without borders and I am hoping it will shrink the gap between rich and poor nations.

  20. Next thing you know, africa is going to upgrade their schools with computers so the kids could start logging on and joining the rest of the world with all this social networking sites like facebook, ect. Africa might be headed in the right direction but who knows. Time will tell

  21. This is just one of many small steps that are turning the world into an online global marketplace. As technology is brought into places that are lacking, I feel that the benefits and opportunities will arise.

  22. Cisco VP for Africe really helped this country to have their access now. It nice to know that you really help to every country that really need of what you have.Cheap International Calls"

  23. africa really will be a massive player in maybe 25-50 years. its going to be going the same way as china and india are atm as long as they can sort out their inter continent politics ... defiantly one to watch. after visiting africa a couple of times in my life you can see the technological advances. they just need some relief and stability and they'd be laughing

  24. This is something really inspiring. Another one I read about was a millionaire boy of age 16 who is the CEO of Undoubtedly we have some extra ordinary people in each and every corner of the world. Sometimes due to lack of resources such people are not able to come up and show their talent to the world.

  25. Off course if somebody struggles he can get good i think africa will develop more..

  26. It is good to see how people from various countries where technological development is low are gathering Computer knowledge, this will help in the growth and advancement of such countries.