Pan African Connection
Bringing Literacy, Education and Development to disadvantaged communities across Africa
Knowledge based economies
As we discussed the issue of the historical development curve of the industrialized countries in the
page entitled “Leapfrog”, the case is laid-out that the path for Africa to attain a better economic position
is in the uptake of the demands of the information age, the pattern seen in advanced knowledge driven
Now, clearly this is not saying that the knowledge base, the know-how, the technical expertise or the
educational rate be the same; if that were the case, we would already have an advanced economy here
in Africa and that indeed would be naiveté, given the reigning conditions today in the majority of African
countries and more so in the rural areas.
The point is that whatever efforts are made in the remote communities; they better be based on best
practice, scientific methods (we are still learning what will work, or not, in dealing with global warming)
and because of its effectiveness and time saving properties: ICT or information technology tools and
know-how, need to be more quickly integrated, in short, knowledge based inputs in rural Africa that are
focused on the scope of the work. By its very nature the knowledge base will migrate upwards.
In rural Africa they do not need to design an airplane totally online as was the case of Boeing’s 777.
Their needs are more mundane, as it were, concentrating on the skill sets needed to improve their local
rural economy and create locally useful employment opportunities in services and skilled activities.
The call is for simple tools easily integrated feeding information, advancing the knowledge base; that is
the need in rural Africa. Some have postulated that the cell phone is one such tool or device; it certainly
has potential but the pricing of air-time (talk-time) and lower penetration than what is idealized are two
things that reduce rather substantially its effectiveness.
Left to the initiative of government efforts to roll out e-governance, e-government, e-education and e-
training in underserved communities and it will take a significant longer time frame to institute the
needed uptake in the use and reliance on information technology.
Concerting with local communities, a supervising NGO and the aggregated skill sets and pooled
information sources represented in service that Pan-African Connection aims to bring to the table, will
much more readily and with a significant lower time frame integrate the use of information technology
(ICT) in rural Africa, while at the same time because of the pooled resources and non-profit operation of
the medium, keep costs lower. This sort of scheme becomes a partner to government programs, who
can then focus on the delivery of content, where it has a greater burden of responsibility.
The methodologies introduced to us in the information age, are a tool to use in the needs of our target
communities, the knowledge base, as a tool becomes a lever to actuate greater dispersion of the gains
and achievements rendered by our timely intervention, showing us the way forward to our goals, part of
those goals been the sustainability of these remote communities, now empowered (and enlisted) to
use sound methodologies and scientifically derived approaches to mitigating the effects of global
warming and climate change.