ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

Adopting more indigenous tech solutions [ICT Clinic]

In many advanced countries, the full integration of technology into society is no longer viewed as new because there are loads of visible push and policy development towards this new way of life. This approach has given and continues to give technology companies in such climes what you would call the first-mover advantage in these emerging fields.

Many of these technology solutions have been imported into Africa, and Nigeria has had its own share of this, right from the days when technology was nascent in this part of the world. Up to this day, foreign technology solutions have been finding their way into the country – a development that appears to have made it nearly impossible to succeed as an indigenous tech company.

One begins to wonder how technologically advanced or otherwise Africa would have been if it had developed its own technology on its own and at its own pace.

Notwithstanding the challenges, indigenous tech solutions continue to expand its horizon as a leveller with its foreign counterparts. In the poorest of developing countries, innovative ideas that have been turned into solutions have also sprung up to catch the world’s attention. With the most attention directed at health, agriculture, fintech and logistics, African start-ups have been able to come up with solutions that can solve challenges in their respective communities.

Developing solutions, not just for the immediate community but also for ones that can meet up with international standards should be the focus of African startups. As an example, fintechs are good examples of how to develop solutions that can solve problems locally and still widely respected globally.

In times like these also, where Nigerian businesses encourage remote work and social distancing, technologies are being developed around fintech to allow merchants get paid instantly, irrespective of their capacity, structure, or geographical location. One platform that comes to mind is Paylink.ng, a digital solution that makes individuals and small and medium enterprises receive swift payment on their transactions, from the stable of SystemSpecs, a software company in Nigeria.

In the words of the Managing Director of SystemSpecs, John Obaro, “Paylink.ng was developed to address the pain point of SMEs and individuals who require an easy-to-use, personalised and memorable means of collecting money without sharing their account details. This need remains just as crucial at a time when various organisations need to collect funds for various purposes while practising social distancing.”

In developing nations, fintechs that want to record good success are left with no other option than to develop solutions that would bring about unending satisfaction to the average citizens of their country, who live in a world of evolving expectations. The traditional means that the banks have adopted over the years for handling financial services are in no doubt stuck in long-established processes. These processes come with slowing the development that can address the challenges often faced by individuals and SMEs.

Ever since the advent of fintechs, customers’ awareness has seen another level of engagement. An average individual or — Finish Reading on the Punch

About the author

Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr

CFA hosts Tech Trends on Channels Television, writes the ICT Column in the Punch Newspapers & also blogs on cfagbata.com.

CFA currently serves as the African Regional Director of Founder Institute.