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It's a digital world

Updated: Feb 14, 2021

Our world is evolving rapidly. Political perceptions, societies, biology and natural environments are all constantly changing. And so is our technology. In 2021, more and more opportunities continue to emerge from the advancing machine learning and our quest for greater knowledge.

The 21st century is synonymous with the internet of things, the possibility of everything connecting together, and the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated our transition- as a global society- to a digital workforce.

All across the board, across industries, organisations, institutions and small to medium enterprises, there is evidence of a mass-migration to the online digital space as people are experiencing various restrictions on their freedom of movement.

Some scholars of societies have gone as far as calling it a “digital renaissance”. We are at the crossroads of generational change, and with this transition comes a lot of opportunities that today’s (and future) generations can seize.

For instance, a digital graphic designer with a laptop, smartphone, internet connection and a cup of coffee can liaise with the team at the office (or anywhere!), and perform any tasks seamlessly with the tools provided online. The virtual space creates bridges that allow us to connect in real time from almost any location.

The future needs to be a digital and inter-connected future, at every level, in schools, health institutions and other essential services, if our world is to advance to the next level. The pandemic has shown great resistance, coming in second and third much more resistant waves of the virus. Even with the coming vaccine, it may still be years before we start to see a recession in global infections and deaths related to COVID-19.

Our adaptation to this new normal will depend greatly on how as a society we manage to maintain our daily routines through use of this technology that can allow us to work and learn remotely.

If we attempt to wait out the pandemic and wait for the old normal, it could be a decade until that happens, maybe more. Of course it is important to observe lockdown and stay at home rules. However, we need to maintain our productivity, whether in industries or office environments. Otherwise, poverty will be exacerbated with many families already living on a hand to mouth basis across Africa and around the globe.

Connecting virtually is the key since the pandemic inhibits close contact. As I transition from learning to working environments, this virtual connection with Inspire Africa for Global Impacts Initiative through the Ignite Innovation Lab Digital Transformation challenge has been the difference between sitting at home unemployed and working from home with a cup of coffee in my hand.

Inspire Africa has given me more than textbook knowledge, it has given me soft skills that can only be learnt outside the lecture hall, as well entrepreneurial leadership qualities necessary to successfully navigate my generation's job market.

The need to migrate to remote working has never been more apparent. Now it could be a must, and that is a signal of the digital renaissance in full swing.

This article is by David Makoni. David is a Communications and Digital Media Intern at Inspire Africa for Global Impacts Initiative.

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