Kenya's New Disruptive Technologies Revolution

The noise about the next big thing can make it difficult to identify which technologies truly matter. I will attempt to sort through the many claims to identify the technologies that have the greatest potential to drive substantial economic impact and disruption before or by 2030(our country’s vision set plan). Important technologies can come in any field or emerge from any scientific discipline, but they share four characteristics: high rate of technology change, broad potential scope of impact, large economic value that could be affected, and substantial potential for disruptive economic impact. Many technologies have the potential to meet these criteria eventually, but our leaders(CS Mr.Mucheru of ICT) needs to focus on technologies with potential impact that is near enough at hand to be meaningfully anticipated and prepared for. I already love the whitebox launch  intiative by his ministry and hope to see such moves in several other ministries and NGOsas well.Therefore, as a country,we need to focus on technologies that we believe will have significant potential to drive economic impact and disruption by 2030.

What Safaricom has done in enhancing mobile Internet, for example, has affected more than 16 million Kenyans going about their lives, giving them tools to become potential innovators or entrepreneurs— making the mobile Internet one our most impactful technologies. I personally an a beneficiary of their noble intiative to nature and grow talent within STEM.My focus for now is profoundly learn the Internet of Things technology which will connect and embed intelligence in billions of objects and devices all around the world not Kenya alone, affecting the health, safety, and productivity of billions of people.I want to be part of the few folks who will go down the history books of STEM in Africa that shaped the path of the four disciplines and made life of the coming generation better from our engineered solutions.

Here is what I sorted out as the buzz in-things for Tech evangelist, engineering gurus and STEM lovers which will definitely shape our country in the next few years and propel the big 4 agenda to realization.

  1. Mobile Internet Increasingly inexpensive and capable mobile computing devices and Internet connectivity
  2. Automation of knowledge work intelligent software systems that can perform knowledge work tasks involving unstructured commands and subtle judgments
  3. The Internet of Things Networks of low-cost sensors and actuators for data collection, monitoring, decision making, and process optimization
  4. Cloud technology Use of computer hardware and software resources delivered over a network or the Internet, often as a service
  5. Advanced robotics increasingly capable robots with enhanced senses, dexterity, and intelligence used to automate tasks or augment humans
  6. Autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles Vehicles that can navigate and operate with reduced or no human intervention
  7. Next-generation genomics Fast, low-cost gene sequencing, advanced big data analytics, and synthetic biology (“writing” DNA)
  8. Energy storage Devices or systems that store energy for later use, including batteries

9.3D printing Additive manufacturing techniques to create objects by printing layers of material based on digital models

  1. Advanced materials Materials designed to have superior characteristics (e.g., strength, weight, conductivity) or functionality
  2. Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery Exploration and recovery techniques that make extraction of unconventional oil and gas economical
  3. Renewable energy Generation of electricity from renewable sources with reduced harmful climate impact

The technologies on my list have great potential to improve the lives of billions of people, starting with our 45 million plus population. Cloud computing and the mobile Internet, for example, could raise productivity and quality in education, health care, and public services. At the same time, some of these technologies could bring unwanted side effects. The benefits of the mobile Internet and cloud computing are accompanied by rising risks of security and privacy breaches. Our 12th parliament ought to sit more frequently and speed up the data protection bill, the computer misuse and cybercrime bill and improve our information and communication act. Objects and machines under the control of computers across the Web (the Internet of Things) can also be hacked, exposingfactories, refineries, supply chains, power plants, and transportation networks to new risks

 

In considering the disruptive potential of these technologies, I foresee that each could drive profound changes across many dimensions—in the lives of Kenyan citizens, in business, and across the global economy. As noted from key speeches from our president Mr.Kenyatta and his deputy Mr.Ruto, the future seems bright for entrepreneurs and innovators. 3D printing, the mobile Internet, cloud technology, and even next-generation genomics could provide the opportunities and the tools to allow small enterprises to compete on a meaningful scale and advance into new markets rapidly.Almost every technology on my list could change the game for businesses, creating entirely new products and services, as well as shifting pools of value between producers or from producers to consumers. Some, like automation of knowledge work and the mobile Internet, could also change how companies and other organizations structure themselves, bringing new meaning to the anytime/ anywhere work style. With automation of knowledge work tasks, organizations that can augment the powers of skilled workers stand to do well.

 

As these disruptive technologies continue to evolve and play out, it will be up to business leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and citizens to maximize their opportunities while dealing with the challenges.Lets make our mother country great and change the face of Africa!

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