Governments across the African continent have been urged to prepare for serious and determined technological advancement and innovations in the continent as a way to live the post COVID-19 era.
This advice was offered by Engr. Olufemi Akosile, a US based businessman, engineer and the Chairman of King’s Touch and Care Foundation, a Nigeria based non-governmental organisation in a special live discussion organised by Youth In Focus Initiative.
The engineer who expressed the confidence that the post Covid era has a lot of benefits for Africa offered different ways Africa could launch itself into the opportunities of the post Covid 19 era.
According to him,“A lot of things are going to change immediately the entire world bounces back to business and African countries should not be caught unaware, adding that ”There are many ways African countries can play prominent roles after the global pandemic and one way to start is a huge investment in infrastructure.
“To show Africa seriousness to play formidable roles after the pandemic, infrastructural development should take a prominent place.The power sector must be addressed with its diverse ways of generating electricity to power all that are needed to put together and develop to aid development after Covid-19. With strong infrastructure, we need to invest in the basics, education must take a pride of place with special emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Engr. Akosile who has been in the fore front of youth development and empowerment in Nigeria, advised African governments to partner with foreign schools to integrate some of their curriculum together to meet global standards in education.
“Our policy makers need to key into good programmes with good schools overseas, in UK, Canada and the United States of America.” He further spoke on various benefits Africans could derive in technological innovation and development.
“We need to use technology with remote learning now like it is done in other parts of developed world, and if we had started earlier we wouldn’t have waited this long. I strongly believe technological advancement can change the situation of things in Africa in the post Covid years.
Citing concrete and relevant contemporary examples, the first class Mechanical Engineering Graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University said Africans needed to reinvent automated domestic manufacturing. “Automation will help our manufacturing process in Africa. It will provide more jobs, technology can help us in terms of manufacturing as most factories are now digital factories using robotics, artificial intelligence and other smart technologies.”
In terms of employment Engr. Akosile said the post Covid-19 era also promised job opportunities for those that are prepared for it. We are sure that the post Covid-19 era would provide more jobs but there will be the need to retrain our labour to meet the coming challenges. “We need digitally savvy workers, we need automated domestic manufacturing and we need not to be foreign dependent anymore,” adding that Africa could be hub for technological development in the nearest future.
He also suggested that there should be improvement in digital connectivity, an area where Africa is still lagging behind. “We do not have cheap free flow data yet. The post Covid era is about being relevant in the digital age. Other areas mentioned by Engr.Akosile included robotics, data analytics and computer vision technology, health care system surveillance technology, phone tracking, telemedicine and a host of others.
“In the area of health care, we need well equipped hospitals against the present overburdened ones, as Africa needs to move to virtual healthcare technologies like telehealth.”
Concluding, the well exposed international technology expert projected that “Africa has all it takes to move to the next level of technological advancement with their contemporaries in other parts of the world. But to achieve this the continent needed selfless leaders who have genuine intention for development, and the youths should also position themselves towards taking their rightful place in technological advancement, not only in Africa but also globally.”
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