Things Come Together — Truths about Tech in Africa
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We often hear stats like “more people have mobile phones than toilets” about places like Africa, but what does that actually mean for people? “It is b.s.,” (no pun intended), argues one of the guests on this episode. Then there are statistical predictions about mobile penetration and usage — for example, that there will be one mobile phone per African within just three years. But how do we make sense of such stats, in context? It may make more sense to measure devices per household … and to also consider power structures and whether women, too, truly have such access. Finally, since access is mainly about affordability, what good is a smartphone with an internet connection if data plans are prohibitively expensive? Watching just one YouTube video could cost an African family an entire month of groceries. Yet mobile and wi-fi may be collapsing Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs. With three experts from various backgrounds and regions of Africa — Nkiru Balonwu of international music media company Spinlet; Alan…