One of the biggest changes in African culture and lifestyle has been the rise of the mobile phone. Nowhere in Africa has this become more prevalent than in Nigeria. The West African state was once the bastion of over a 100,000 landline phones run by state-owned corporation NITEL. The industry of landline communications has all but washed up now, as internet and mobile phone usage has increased to the point of over 100 million mobiles, many of which are now internet-ready.
In Kenya, Sudan and Gabon you can find many of its citizens paying for bills by internet banking. Black culture in the continent is definitely becoming tech savvy and with the next year now upon us the continent can expect another hike in technological advances and usage.
Political change in 2012 has been unstable, to put it mildly, particularly in the north of the continent, where the transitional government of Libya still tries to come to terms with its new administration. Egypt is also having rising dissent brewing once again and its people seem to be falling out with the Muslim Brotherhood following the ending of the honeymoon period in the north eastern Arabic power.
South Africa may well see change for the better as 2013 progresses, China’s involvement in many southern African states has led to very little in the way of news coming out of the region. This can only mean, no news is good news – it has to be said that the negative press heralded in western media surrounding Zimbabwe’s financial plight and despotic leadership, appears for now to be waning. However, with presidential elections expected in the former African bread basket nation, 2013 may well deliver another spell of uncomfortable times ahead.
Nigeria faces a challenge ahead of political unrest in the north of country during 2013 and South Africa will have to work hard on its unwanted reputation as a country of burgeoning crime. But in both nations, technology will play a huge part in opening up opportunities and wealth. China’s input into the region will undoubtedly accelerate this change, as will the rise of smartphone technology, expected to become immensely popular towards the end of 2013.
The success of South Somalia, the world’s newest country, will have a big impact on the region in central Africa. After it kicked out its militia, the new country is prospering and those states around it have begun to sit up and notice.
What are your thoughts?