Viewpoint: Cloud Computing Could Be Key to Speeding up Africa’s Development
By Willem Fourie
Earlier this year, 17 African countries presented their progress on reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, at the United Nations. There was some good news and progress. But it’s clear that radical interventions are still required if countries on the continent are to achieve these ambitious global development goals.
Technology will be key in any such interventions. Doubling agricultural productivity (Goal 2), halving road deaths (Goal 3), increasing water efficiency (Goal 6), doubling the rate of improvement in energy (Goal 7), and halving food waste (Goal 12), among others, seem impossible without game-changing innovations and dramatic improvements in efficiency.
Cloud computing – the delivery of sophisticated information technology capabilities over the internet – could play a crucial role in both innovation and efficiency.
What’s especially useful about cloud computing is that companies or organisations don’t need to own computing infrastructure or data centres. Instead, they can rent access to storage and applications, among other things, from a cloud service provider. This allows them to get access to sophisticated capabilities on demand. And they don’t have to spend a great deal of money building and maintaining IT infrastructure on site.
Photo courtesy of Eugene Malak.