Entrepreneur and Investor with 20 years of experience in setting up and incubating start-ups the world over. With a keen interest in technology enabled business, I am an enabler of entrepreneurship initiatives in emerging markets. I have also been a proponent of women in business. In my other life, I am a daredevil Skydiver, aspiring pilot and an adventure addict.
The ICT Economy
At the side tables of a conference in the Silicon Valley, the discussion is bordering on the proliferation of new technologies in the daily lives of the people who make technology happen. Little do they know how the innovation led by these very people is creating technology adoption for the policy makers and business leaders the world over.
There is a stark choice between the old road and the new. And should the new road be trodden, the clear choice to make will have to be crossing the technology threshold.
As we welcomed another Gitex event in the region, the most apparent revelation was the extent to which economic progress of the countries in our region will depend on the adoption and propagation of ICT.
In a world where more people have access to mobile phones than to basic essentials like electricity; the government policy makers the world over, have started looking at ICT as primary GDP driver of their countries.
Data reflects that countries that have adopted greater ICT in their national infrastructure have realised momentous economic, social and political benefits. The greater impact of ICT has been in the social and economic realms and has reduced unemployment, enhanced quality of life and made it easy for the citizens to access services provided by the governments.
As more and more technology products and service providers consolidate their vision and look towards Middle East and Africa as potential regions for high growth; policy makers in our countries have a huge role to play in moving our countries towards advanced levels of technology adoption.
Apart from access to the latest technologies and higher capacity building policies, the execution of this strategy needs to be focus on higher adoption and usage.
The Internet population of the world exceeds the populations of India and China put together. Most users are connected through broadband or handheld devices and have access to information in a manner they have never had before. More than half a billion people access the Internet from the highly dispersed African sub-continent. The degree of ICT readiness of a country today is a function of the portfolio of ICT services are available to the population; how affordably priced are these services; the speed of access and usability of the technology infrastructure of that country and the ability of users of technology are able to access and use the services thus enabled.
Our countries have to place technology enablement and use as a top priority in their national strategies. Policy makers have to clearly set precedence to increased use to technology in governance. A good method would be to look at technology as a sector that is fundamental to socioeconomic growth of the economy. When the State of Qatar slashed the royalties to be paid to them by the telecom sector a few years back; it reportedly spurted technology entrepreneurship contribution to the country’s GDP by over 15%. The governments will need to evolve a technology, media and telecom ecosystem to integrate the adoption of technology with usage metrics across the economic supply chain. Our policy makers will need to foster better ICT enablement by setting policies, regulations, investment laws as well creating transparent government policies. A public- private partnership in an e-government model is seen to work very well with most countries all over the world. Technology is an ever-changing spectrum and nothing will foster more growth in our countries than a fair chance to compete. Opening our markets to fair competition in technology products and services has seen vital results in the previous years with major ICT players growing their revenues in double digits.
Technology enablement is imperative to the growth of opportunities in our region. Where decisions for business strategy for corporations and businesses the world over are highly technology dependent today; there is a greater need for our region to embrace technology and its benefits by building the capability of our resources and raise the level of opportunity for our people.
In 2007, while working on a blueprint for the technical deployment of a smart city project in the middle east; the infrastructure was not so complex, we had thought of connected devices but the Internet of Things economy was in its absolute basic infancy so the development of applications was really just reduced to a control platform of data exhibits. In hindsight, we were limited in our vision for the city by the screens and devices we would have to deploy to get mobility incorporated and last mile connectivity ensured.
11 years hence, I am excited to be working on another huge project for a citywide deployment. Assessing the deployment in terms of readiness of the city technology base, its use in the creation of a suite of smart city applications and adoption by the residents; there seem to be a myriad possibility if only the right model for the right city be deployed.
The most significant barrier, however, seems to the sensorization of the city infrastructure. Something that was co…
When you express a strong or a divergent opinion, your listeners may use cognitive distortions to interpret your opinion.
The fact of our lives is that what you say will go through the mental filters of those you are saying it to- their experiences, their rules, their upbringing, their culture and their disposition before being parsed and understood by them. You are in no control of how they will understand what you say but you can mitigate the erosion of the message by creating a safe environment for them to understand it.
Here are a few recommended actions:
Use a Behavior or Value Frame: People build a series of mental "filters" through biological and cultural influences. They then use these filters to make sense of the world. Thoughts become opinions and are affected by attitudes, rules, beliefs, and worldviews The choices they then make are influenced by their creation of a frame. Framing selects certain aspects of an issue and makes them more prominent in order to elicit ce…
Ciphertrace just reported that more than $700M was stolen from Crypto Exchanges in the first six months of 2018. The current market cap of the top 100 cryptocurrencies globally is around $250 Billion. With a thousand plus of cryptocurrencies and globally distributed exchanges; a new crop of cybercriminals is emerging - The Exchange CyberCrims.
Most exchanges and startups issuing new coins are not regulating the identity checks of the users and most of them are represented by anonymous addresses. This is a big loophole in creating trust in the system.
When crypto criminals stole $2000 in coins from me in a transaction a few months back; it was even difficult to trace or enable regulation to trace the transaction. They were gone and the services were never performed. The laws trail behind as always. Cybercriminals 1; You Zero.