Experts urge African leaders to tackle poverty with technology
African leaders have been urged to tackle the rising poverty and corruptions on the continent with technology This advice was given by experts during a panel discussion at the AfricaNXT 2022 week in Lagos with the theme: “How Intelligent Technologies Can Solve Africa’s Toughest Problems.” AfricaNXT is formally known as Social Media Week (SMW), a yearly event.
The experts said African leaders need the ability to create, acquire and adapt new technologies that can solve the problems of hunger, fraud and corruption.
The co-founder of STEM Mets, Jadesola Adedeji, said Africa’s technological gap could be the source of its slow economic growth.
She said that technology could be used to get data or monitor communities that lack certain social amenities.
“Africa needs forward thinking leaders that can leverage on technology to solve the issue of hunger and corruption. We see examples of great leaders around the world, for instance some people were comparing Nigeria to Singapore because we basically started around the same time in terms of our independence.
“We all know that the main difference in our pathways is the issue of leadership, “Adedeji said. Adedeji reminded that Africa had a target to meet Sustainable Development Goal one, which was to eradicate poverty by 2030.
She said that in 2021, the rate of poverty in Africa climbed from 489 million in 2019 to 490 million in 2021 with a total population of 1.38 billion people. Adedeji noted that this meant that Africa was not on track to meet its target.
From her perspective, Co-founder of Agnes Health, Michelle Ijomah, said that the core problem in Africa was hunger.
“We have lots of people in Africa and in Nigeria that are genuinely hungry; this translates to the fact that a hungry person would definitely commit fraud at any given opportunity to provide for his or her needs. This is why it is important for African leaders to use technology to create job opportunities for their citizens in order to mitigate poverty and fraud, “Ijomah said.
Co- Founder of Bankly, a bill payment platform, Tomilola Majekodunmi, said that hunger stems from corruption and wrong leaders.
According to her, “if Africa could rid itself of bad leaders and corrupt practices, only them will it be able to curb hunger, fraud and fix the education system.”