A whole generation is being trained to sell their companies as quickly as possible – rather than doing any actual work to nurture them
The sight of a farmer weeding his fields by hand deep in the villages is a timeless scene, far removed from the high-tech, interconnected world of today.
Yet the weather forecasts that helped the farmer time his planting, the inexpensive mobile phone that he uses to check market prices before harvesting, and possibly even the potential to receive government drought assistance, all depend in some or other way, on space technology.
So what is Space Technology?
This is technology developed by space science or the aerospace industry to be used in spaceflight, satellites, or space exploration. Space technology includes spacecraft, satellites, space stations, and support infrastructure, equipment, and procedures.
Last week Uganda hosted a high-level meeting for senior African decision-makers and space technology experts to discuss exactly how to achieve this.
The African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment brought together practitioners from remote sensing, earth observation and other fields who are interested in space science’s potential contribution to Africa’s growth and development.
The wide applicability of space science for the benefit of society, ranging from areas such as climate and weather to natural resources governance, agriculture, health, water governance, risk assessment and disaster response, has been recognized by the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations and the United States Group on Earth Observations.
Food security in Africa and other developing regions globally continues to be a pressing concern. Diseases, insects and weeds mean that about a quarter of crops are lost before they can be harvested, with direct implications for food security. Monitoring plant health and detecting pathogens early is an essential component of controlling disease spread. Geo-spatial technology allows crop disease monitoring, providing input to forecasting systems and generating detailed information on the spatial distribution of diseases and pests over large areas at relatively low cost.
When we achieve this, maybe our farmers will have a chance at competing well on the global market.
ICTAUg Key Strategic Areas and its LAN event
The ICT Association of Uganda (ICTAU) last week announced its key strategic focus areas for the remaining months of 2016. This is in the run up to its Annual General Meeting slated for Wednesday, January 25, 2017.
“For the next two months, we shall focus all our efforts on growing our membership base in order to sufficiently represent the views of the Industry on key issues beneficial to the ICT sector in Uganda, in general, and those of particular interest to our members and stakeholders,” said Board Chairperson Albert Mucunguzi.
These areas include;
- Strengthening the Association’s Secretariat
- Development of the ICTAU Strategic Plan for 2017 and redefining the Association’s role in the industry
- Stakeholder engagements (government and private sector)
- Consolidating existing initiatives.
The week the association’s 2016 board was dissolved and an interim one was chosen with the responsibility of steering the Association to the next AGM.
In the bid to steer to 2017, the interim board last week announced it’s re-introduction of their popular monthly events, code-named LAN (adopted from Local Area Network) as a platform for industry stakeholders and enthusiasts to meet for business networking purposes.
The first one is planned for 10th November 2016 at the Sky Lounge in Kampala, and is open to Members and non-Members alike, even the following events will be restricted to ICTAU members only.
Membership fees for the association are;
- 50,000Ugshs for students per year
- 100,000Ugshs for individuals per year
- 1,000,000Ugshs for companys per year.
There has been questions about the value benefit earned from paying such sums by students and companies, and the association leadership promised to have an in depth discussion of this during the LAN event.
A Local Kenyan company Ma3Route has developed a web, mobile app and SMS platform that allows travelers to share transport information online. It has proven popular, and now has over 500,000 users. The Ma3Route app is considered a savior by it’s users who are faced with less taxis in Kenya.
“On Ma3Route, all road users can engage with each other to foster more efficient and enjoyable commutes for everyone,” said Stephane Eboko, Ma3Route chief revenue officer.
“Our crowd-sourced smart transportation model allows people to resourcefully and efficiently manage transportation modes and allied transport infrastructure with technology. We collect para-transit data from individuals at a dramatically lower cost.”
Start-up culture is corrupting our youth and killing real entrepreneurship
Imagine the sort of person that runs a start-up. How would you describe them? Probably using words such as “young”, “ambitious”, “innovative”. They probably embody that meaningless expression “nothing is impossible”. This is the problem with start-up culture: it has created a myth that has the power to ruin lives.
The culture has glamorized start-ups as the easiest way to share a table with the super wealthy in Mayfair restaurants, have a flexible work schedule and be recognised as a celebrity – as long as you have the force of ambition. Unsurprisingly, venture capital firms – an equal victim of this culture – are showering British start-up industry with cash (its the same story here in Africa), because for many potential entrepreneurs they are becoming some of the only people bold enough to invest money on weird ideas.
Unfortunately this notion that it only takes a “killer idea” (preferably something based on an app) and just enough funding to conquer the innovation-hungry consumers is a lie. It goes against traditional business-making practice, where companies respond to the demands of consumers rather than the other way around. True, we all heard stories of successful innovators who indeed delivered revolutionary products to the consumers, but it’s perfectly reasonable to doubt that every millennial has the same trick up their sleeve.
Read more about this story here.
Uganda Telecom to be Sold.
This is an old story by EagleOnline on 17th October that says, according to their source that preferred anonymity, Uganda’s only owned Telecom UTL is to be sold to a US telecommunications giant called Hamilton Telecommunications.
According to them, Hamilton Telecommunications will soon be unveiled as the new owners of UTL, and they intend to kick off their operations in Uganda with a 5G technology.
If you are interested in more of this story please find it here.