The digital age is upon us. The current period is said to be under the fourth industrial revolution of robotization, digitalisation, and nanotechnology driven advanced materials. Biotechnology and cogno technology are driving the world. There are real concerns over whether or not technology should advance to a position of producing all the goods and services that humans need and consume.
This is a real question in a world awash with goods and services produced with high end technological tools that would depress the wages of workers, and are then transformed into low wage earners who also do not have direct links to the sources and capacities for consumption.
The ICT revolution is bringing about a major paradigm shift by having brought far-reaching changes in the way interactions are taking place among peoples, economies, societies and communities in the world today. We have now more and more e-people and fewer and fewer people that have not gone electronic yet. The number of those who go e- is growing rapidly, and those who have not yet become computer un-literate appear to be dwindling fast.
That e-people are populating the world as electronic herds everywhere in the world making communication instantaneous is a reality that is with us now. It raises big opportunities as well as challenges. It looks everything that used to be done with human expenditure of energy and touch is changing with the application of ICTs in all walks of life from the military using drones to computers facilitating information on how to process social and government instruments such as passports and paying taxes.
Social media is now pervasive and Africa is increasingly part of a world populated by massive data. Industrializing Africa now means, the continent entering the digital age, catching up and leapfrogging to the 4th industrial revolution. This is a timely and engaging book, reflecting on Africa’s process of industrialization and socio-political construction in a digital age.
“The world is going through a major transition due to the information technology revolution that opens unprecedented opportunities for developing countries to catch up through learning and innovating. This puts a premium on understanding the role of science, technology and innovation in economic transformation in general and Africa in particular. This book is a valuable resource on the way ICT could lead to economic transformation in Africa. I strongly recommend them to policy makers, business people and students of all careers”.
--Professor Carlota Perez, London School of Economics, Cambridge University, University of Sussex, U.K. and Technological University of Tallinn, Estonia
“Integration of science, technology and innovation (STI) into national production processes is central to the success of any African country. Although information and communication technology (ICT) could be considered to be a sub-set of STI, many African countries have separately prioritized and integrated this sector into their development plans. It is therefore imperative that systematic research work be carried out and top-calibre manpower be developed in these two areas (STI and ICT) to catalyze development in the African countries, respectively referred to as STI4D and ICT4D. ICT and Economic Transformation in Africa makes a valuable contribution to such body of research”.
--Professor Timothy Waema, Director of Information and Computer Centre, Nairobi University, Kenya
ABOUT THE EDITORS
MAMMO MUCHIE is a DST/NRF Research Professor in Science, Technology and Innovation for Development at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria, South Africa. He is also NRF rated Research Professor and member of the African Academy of Sciences and the South African Academy of Sciences.
ANGATHEVAR BASKARAN Is an Associate Professor at the Department of Development Studies, FEA, University of Malaya, Malaysia & Senior Research Associate, SHARChI (Innovation and Development), Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa.
Science, Technology, Development Studies/AFRICA