If You Really Want to Scale ICT4D to Millions, Abandon Africa
August 7, 2015 Editor 0
We all talk a good game about how we want to scale ICT4D programs. How we want to reach 100,000 or even +1 million constituents with our cool technology solutions. If that’s the true goal, and we’re honest about reaching it, we really should abandon Africa for India or China.
Go to China or India
The key to scale is people of course. And most surveys put China and India at the top of population counts with over a billion people each. Africa, as a continent, also has over a billion people. Africa, however, is not a country, so any solution needs to be reflective of 50+ countries and administrative regions. China and India have their own political barriers too of course. However, Uttar Pradesh, just one state in India, has 25 million more people than Nigeria, sub-Sahara’s most populous country.
[ad name=”Inno300x250″]Now let’s say you could cross political barriers without too much hassle, working in Africa, you would still have to surmount steep language barriers. Nominally, most Africans speak English, French, Portuguese, or Arabic, but in reality, those are languages of the elite. You would need to localize to hundreds of tribal languages to reach millions of Africans, or just English and Hindi to reach 540 million Indians, or Traditional Chinese to reach almost all 1.3 billion mainland Chinese.
Or Redefine Scale
Finally, let’s really be honest about “scale”. This term doesn’t mean we need to reach millions, go continental, or even national. Reaching scale can mean a majority of community members in a single village, town, or city. Or just your key constituents, no matter their quantity.
When we understand that scale is relative, we can let go of the need to abandon Africa to reach millions, and accept that scale is best defined on an individual basis, one changed mind at a time.
Go to SourceReprinted from ICTWorks
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