14th December 2019

Technology in Zambia, Still Scared?

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Despite the seemingly high uptake of information technology, the truth is that on the ground we are so behind when it comes to leveraging tech advances in our lives and business, and that’s depressing. Even though we get the gadgets, equipment and so on, we either don’t have fast enough internet, internet bundles are too high, or the people handling the equipment have no experience or knowledge or technical know-how to use it creatively and efficiently.

Firstly, let’s look at the basics of internet. It has to be reasonably FAST (and stable).  Simple. It seems almost  all the ISP ‘competition’ is actually just friends colluding to keep the prices exorbitant  while the quality of the internet is essentially crappy.

Also, away from ISPs, the places we do business could at least even try to use whatever God awful slow internet we have to do their work. They can have documents stored on a cloud storage service like Dropbox for easy access among their workers, without having to walk around to and from offices with a flash dangling around their necks.

Another example is ID registration. You probably know how hard it is to replace or obtain a new National Registration Card (NRC) from another town because they’ll probably  tell you to wait about  a month so they can “post” the documents to your original place of registration so they can confirm your identity and post them back after weeks and then you end up with a really bad looking photo taken and finally, your ID is processed.  It would cost a lot and take some time to have all that data entered onto a computer system but it’s worth it in the long run. It makes everything readily accessible for faster replacements.

Another place is academic institutions for storing records. We’ll take UNZA for size. It has an online registration facility but it still has shortfalls because most students complain it doesn’t allow them to do other things like sign up for their government bursary. Is it really that hard to link together? In 2014? No? Ok. Other schools don’t have this service so scholars have to line up in scorching sunny conditions for registration.

Meetings are a drag right? So why not create a group video call/chat on apps like Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook and others? The mentality that the use of social media apps for business purposes is not professional needs to be killed off. They are perfect and time saving. Who wants to be panicking and stuck in traffic heading to a meeting when you can simply Skype from your office? Our point again, we need FAST internet.

Pizza. Who doesn’t want it delivered with no hassle?  We are hopeful the food industry can be more accessible than just by phone calls and take advantage of the internet to sell their products. We would like to view onscreen options, type in our address and wait for a bike to the meal, without having to physically be at a shop counter. That’s a free idea for an app, use it.

So far there have been moves made in the technological, telecom and banking sectors in Zambia with mobile money being the greatest and linking all three. Money moves everything and now you can do that from anywhere you are in the country. Perfect! It gives you more time to do other things and not have to queue up for anything anymore. Yet some people still don’t make use of them as banking tools. Ah well, with time we’ll see.

Got other areas tech could be used? Leave them in the comments section below.

Picture Credit: Freepik.

Sandi

Tech blogger. Gadget junkie. Life lover. I love eyeliner. Miller runs through my veins.

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