What experts expect in technology this year after Covid strike
Picking up from the events of 2021, the local tech sector will see the continuation of the momentum driven by the pandemic and big events such as launch of 5G locally, the proliferation of cryptocurrencies and Big Tech changes including the introduction of the metaverse.
Experts also indicate there will be new events that will change the local sector.
Mutugi Njeru, a software developer, says he expects the government to focus more on achieving the Big 4 Agenda in its last year in office.
Manufacturing is one of the key agendas and Mutugi predicts the government will emphasise more on promoting the manufacture of tech devices.
“In the Big 4 Agenda, President Uhuru Kenyatta outlined manufacturing as one of the pillars geared towards achieving vision 2030.
Therefore, knowledge of product design and development is key and should be accessible for everyone seeking it in an endeavour to produce a product,” he starts.
He adds that learning about value innovation is useful to entrepreneurs since they can design and structure their products to save on resources.
“In 2022, the products going to dominate are the ones that can combine science, engineering, design and art in terms of structure, market segment selection, promotion and social impact they seek to leave behind.
When it comes to digital products and services, we’ll see more embracing of user experience for companies that were left behind on this, and an improvement of the same in companies that had begun already.
I believe the competitive edge will be on the following: engineering- how well engineered is the digital product and how easily it works for the user; the design- how well communicated/placed are the tools for the end-user; and current user interface trends and how they can work for your product will still be a competitive edge,” he says.
Mutugi adds that 2022 will see more entrepreneurs utilise marketing automation tools to create seamless marketing of products with the least effort.
Coding in schools
“It is going to be an exciting year for tech and manufacturing in Kenya and we’re bound to see more start-ups get both local and international investments,” he asserts.
Already, the ICT Authority and Ministry of ICT has set aside a budget of Sh 40billion for manufacturing and assembly of electronic devices to be used for the Schoolnet Programme, which kicked off in 13 schools.
The project aims at enhancing the success of the digital literacy programme through effective delivery and update of content materials for learners across the country.
Moreover, the ICT Authority targets to manufacture 1.2 million devices locally.
For Ruth Kaveke Michael, the Executive Director Pwani Teknowgalz—an organisation equipping girls and young women with employable technology skills— integration of coding in both primary school and high school curriculum, especially in developing countries.
“In the fast-growing digital world, we need to equip our children with coding knowledge to empower them with relevant technology skillsets to build innovative solutions for community challenges. Introducing coding skills prepares them at a young age to build for the future is crucial,” she says.
Kaveke says coding has a number of benefits for the young minds.
“To begin, children learn to solve problems. Children who learn to code acquire logical computational thinking and creative problem-solving skills, which include breaking issues down into little parts that are easier to manage before and during coding.
Children will need to solve problems at all phases of their development. As a result, mastering these abilities equips students not just to be exceptional software engineers, but also to use the same principles in a variety of future occupations,” she adds.
She adds that coding is the future with the fast-paced rise of the digital economy that has encouraged its use in many areas, even some that aren’t in technology.
She adds that children who learn to code will have an edge in the future job market since they will be able to apply the skills learned in coding to a variety of sectors.
Arnold Karanja, data protection and privacy compliance lawyer, says the Competition Authority is going to be much keen on killer acquisition.
“There has been an unending debate for years on whether big tech companies should be stopped from gobbling startups.
This year, I anticipate the Competition Authority will be keen on this. Killer acquisition is where an incumbent acquires an innovative target firm solely to discontinue the target’s innovation projects and pre-empt future competition.
Without a killer acquisition, these developing competitors threaten to reduce the future profitability of the incumbent because they would deliver lower prices, more variety, and potentially higher quality to consumers,” he explains.
Arnold says killer acquisition may not directly harm the consumers, but it potentially has significant adverse effects like the lack of competition allows firms to charge higher prices to the consumer, it can reduce product variety and quality and also the acquisition of potential competitors has led to a deterioration of privacy standards which is an important aspect of product quality in the tech industry.
With 2022 being an electioneering year, Safaricom has promised that 4G internet will be available all over the country to avoid poor internet connections experienced in some polling stations during the last General Elections.