A lot of people move to cities because they offer advanced opportunities in career, business, and lifestyle. Technology in cities has proven to create better living conditions, and it only makes sense that more and more people want to surround themselves with an evolving system. However, the rural areas in most African countries offer a lot of rich culture and heritage that can - with the right tools and exposure - reach greater heights and upgrade these areas. So, how can the tech industry advance rural areas and ensure that more people in these areas gain access to opportunities in the tech and other industries? In this article, we will discuss ways we can get to that goal and what role DBSA plays in making this dream a reality.
Educate The Nation
One of the best ways to invest in a fruitful future for African youth and its economy is by fuelling the education sector. The tech industry has always been visibly passionate about creating advanced ways of learning and developing. If we invest more in the tech subjects in rural area schools, then we stand a better chance at a brighter future. And this does not mean one computer in a school that will have to help every learner with computer skills, but a range of devices that learners can familiarise themselves with so that they can release their full potential without the threat of not knowing how devices work. Most of the time, rural area schools suffer compared to those in cities due to a lack of familiarity with certain technologies and curricula.
Open Up The Industries
When it comes to rural areas, one of the biggest challenges the community faces is gender inequality. In some African countries, women and girls are still subjected to domestic roles because this is believed to be the role their lives are subject to. While many leading women in powerful industries, as well as government roles, have shown that women are able to do the same jobs as men and work in the same industries, rural areas are still set on past ways that do not afford young girls and women the opportunity to access these jobs or even the possibility of dreaming of joining these industries. This is an important hindrance that needs to be tackled with haste. However, the DBSA, government and other private sector companies are hard at work to ensure that gender mainstreaming becomes a reality for all. There are projects and initiatives focused on creating better access to opportunities for young people in rural areas and affords girls and women the tools needed to gain knowledge of the careers that await them, and DBSA, together with other sectors, help fund these initiatives.
Curbing Poverty And Other Challenges
Upgrading rural areas with technological advancements will not only tackle challenges such as gender inequality but will also help develop these areas into sustainable communities that retain livelihoods, provide jobs, and entrepreneurship opportunities. Think of it this way; rural businesses need water and sanitation, basic yet operational infrastructure, as well as marketing to reach not only locals but tourists too. With the right technologies, we can ensure these areas have access to clean water and fuel, train them to use technology to market themselves and their products or services, and we stand a better chance at a sustainable business structure, and in turn, a sustainable economy. If we give people in rural areas the right tools to better their environment as opposed to donating occasionally, then an economy can be built in these areas.
Curbing tech challenges in the health sector can also be greatly beneficial to rural areas. It is through technological upgrades that patients will be able to receive medication for chronic illnesses via drones, people who do not have access to transportation to and from health facilities can get mobile clinics in their areas, and traffic at health facilities will be less, especially in government hospitals and clinics.
Living in rural areas is not for everyone. However, if we work towards creating communities where people don’t have to move to cities to access necessities, then we are well on the right track to turning rural areas into advanced spaces that offer people more than just quiet living. Investing in upgrading rural areas also helps their economies and creates and sustains jobs as well as entrepreneurship opportunities. The DBSA, a development finance institution, is proud to be part of different sectors that are working hard in facilitating and ensuring that rural areas get the upgrades they need to have thriving economies.