Africa has been lagging behind in terms of technology advancement, now with more businesses investing in technology, the continent braces for an economic boom.
A survey by Internet World Statistics in document Internet Users in Africa 2014-Q2 reflected that only 9.8 % Africans used internet against the rest of the world.
Nigeria(48million) leads in terms of internet use on the continent followed by Egypt(29m) while South Africa(8.5m) lies fifth with figures growing annually.
Inspirational South African entrepreneur Phuthi Mahanyele, led several continental powerhouses of the economy that re-evaluated infrastructure development for technology adaptations.
The Soweto-born multi awards winner entrepreneur, who learned in the United States of America, reckons the opportunity that came along at an early stage is a catalyst for her success.
“I’m extremely fortunate to be afforded an opportunity to study abroad through my parents’ hard work but it’s always been a goal of mine to come back and use the knowledge I acquired for the advancement of my people” said Phuthi.
From New York’s International Investment Bank to Africa’s Development Bank of Southern Africa, she brought wealth of experience onto African shores.
But as Phuthi sees it, Africa still faces real challenges of technology if we are to tap into the depth of Africa’s markets.
“We need to look at areas that are challenging for us as African countries. One key area is around the young people we have in Africa, 15 to 25 years olds makes up 60 % of the continent’s population today.
“So we have the youngest population and minds in the world, key factor is to make sure that those young people are educated to enable them to contribute towards the continued growth of our economies on the continent” she said.
She is the former Shanduka Energy Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Shanduka Group which was founded and chaired by Cyril Ramaphosa.
“In looking at partnerships at Shanduka where I worked since 2004, she has been able to create partnerships with Shanduka McDonalds which today employs over 11 300 people in South Africa alone.
“What we did was to educate and employ young people coming into our business, utilising technology and revamping it for future generations” she added.
Based on her own assertions, Phuthi indicated how investment is revolutionising Africa.
“Every sector in Africa, holds unique opportunities and the whole continent is geared for growth which is quite exciting.” Commenting on the energy situation, she said, “ investment in renewable energy will not only increase the energy capacity on the continent, but will also open up the market for greater participation to independent power producers and consequently contribute to the socio-economic development of the local communities,”
The reigning Forbes African Businesswoman of the Year’ acknowledged South Africa as one example that requires to address future energy needs.
“Our government has made direct interventions through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
“Africa sorely needs investment to develop its infrastructure and technology and this can be achieved through foreign direct investments and partnerships with local counterparts,”
In 2012, the charismatic entrepreneur spoke at a Women Leadership Conference arguing for a greater role by women in business as necessary to rectify a social unjust.
More importantly because there is a need to use their talents to solve economic problems that the world faces.
“Investing in technology through foreign direct investments should be encouraged” she ended.
She is involved in the World Economic Forum’s ‘Dignity Day’ initiatives.
At the US-Africa Leaders summit, she was the only African woman on the panel for “Expanding Communities” The New Era for Business in Africa.