It can be considered unethical, unproven,undocumented, and completely irrational. Most people believe that the commonproblem surrounding poorer regions in Africa – Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) – is alack of basic human necessities. They have no food. No water. Sleeping on dirtis a primordial concern, and with that comes the escalation of diseases broughtin from lack of proper sanitation and education. It is this stereotype whichlays the foundation for the very deficit they currently reside in. While most peoplecommonly believe it is the duty of first world nations to provide materialisticsupport to SSA, I believe, in collaborative thinking with leading researchersacross the globe, that it is our duty to provide information communication technology,and allow those impoverished to achieve economic gestation on their own.
What creates these ideas is the abundance ofmisinformation (and lack of proper research) attributed to SSA. Charitiesenforce these views. In fact, every major charity known for providing support toAfrica believes in the assistance of providing three basic areas of need: food,water, and education. This is exemplified on every major charities missionstatement (UNICEF, Aid for Africa, Free the Children) and because thesecharities have such a large presence in modern society (especially publicschools) they are able to spread this message. Yet, they fail to explain how byproviding food, water, and education throughout these years, the GDP has never risensignificantly in cooperation to their support.
Major countries such as Canada and the United Stateswere not created by the charity of others. They were founded by the drive, and entrepreneurshipof settlers. Understanding this, it is no coincidence that since the recordbreaking African GDP hike of an added 5% per year (Blackman, Halewood, Kelly, Yonazi,2012, p. 5) “One contributory factor has been the takeup of information andcommunications technologies (ICTs) and, in particular, the spectacular growthin mobile communications” (p.5). Understanding this rise in African GDP, thefact goes hand in hand with the newly established information that “Two-thirdsof African adults now have access to ICTs” (p. 6).
How can ICTs possibly affect African GDP? Withoutfirst providing basic needs such as food and water – attempting to permanentlyend the horrid poverty – how can the integration of cell phones, televisions,and radio possibly impact the development of such a grief struck nation? It iscommonly believed that this is not possible. Yet, some experts feel that “ICTscan empower the lives of Africans and are driving entrepreneurship, innovationand income growth” (p. 13). Another way of understanding this idea is tounderstand exactly how ICTs impact our own lives. Mobile phones are used formore things than simply calling, and thus the same happens in Africa. “ICTtools are helping Africans face up to new challenges, like climate change, ortackle ongoing issues, such as HIV/AIDS” (p.13).
Throughthe continued integration and use of ICTs in Africa, multiple problems arebeing tackled through single devices. The donation or accumulation of a cellphone, for example, provides education, strategies for effective agriculture, entrepreneurialideas, etc. “ICTs are now helping Africa to overcome its traditional marketfailures – such as communicable diseases, the public-goods aspects of having aliterate and numerate population, and clean water and sanitation – as well asgovernment failures – absentee teachers and doctors, patronage-ridden water andelectric utilities, etc” (p. 6).
Ultimately,through this evidence it can be established that the focus on ending poverty inAfrica is the wrong way to go about providing actual, effective support. Charitiesshould focus their efforts into the donations of ICTs in order to efficientlytackle most problems faced in Africa at once. Shown within the report is thedrastic effect ICTs have over African GDP, which is more than can be said aboutthe donation of food and water. Through this we find true, already provenchange.
Works Cited: Banerjea, U.(2015, October 30). India Pledges $600 Million in Aid to Africa; MilitantLinked Charity Provides Pakistan Quake Relief; Afghan Government MobilizesMilitias. Foreign Policy. Retrieved November 21, 2015. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/10/30/india-pledges-600-million-in-aid-to-africa-militant-linked-charity-provides-pakistan-quake-relief-afghan-government-mobilizes-militias/
Garcia, M., &Moore, C. (2012). The Rise of Cash Transfer Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. TheCash Dividend The Rise of Cash Transfer Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, 31-73. https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=MfFxXzTt3egC&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=charity,+africa&ots=3hhPg0yxfF&sig=pVzlZD082zkYapUcdE97Sq_Xkgs#v=onepage&q=charity%2C%20africa&f=false
Yonazi, E., Kelly, T.,Halewood, N., & Blackman, C. (Eds.). (2012). The transformational use of
information andcommunication technologies in Africa. Etransform Africa, 1(1),1-164. Retrieved November 20, 2015http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTINFORMATIONANDCOMMUNICATIONANDTECHNOLOGIES/Resources/282822-1346223280837/MainReport.pdf