Tech for Good: Harnessing Technology for a Better World

Technology is neutral. It is neither good nor bad. Although it can be used for either good or bad. It is however so ubiquitous today that it cannot be ignored. In an increasingly digital world, technology holds immense potential to drive positive social change and address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. This brought about the term Tech for Good.

Tech for Good refers to the intentional use of technology to generate positive social outcomes. It encompasses a broad spectrum of initiatives aimed at solving social, economic, and environmental problems through innovative technological solutions. These initiatives often focus on areas such as healthcare, education, agriculture, financial inclusion, and environmental sustainability. The core principle of Tech for Good is leveraging technology to empower communities, enhance quality of life, and create a more equitable world.

This is currently happening everywhere across the globe. Individual countries must now explore the path forward to maximize its impact.

Consider Hello Tractor. Hello Tractor, often referred to as the “Uber for tractors,” addresses agricultural challenges in Nigeria and other African countries. It is a digital platform connecting tractor owners and smallholder farmers through a farm equipment-sharing app and GPS fleet management solution. It enables efficient and affordable access to mechanized farming.

In the financial inclusion space, there is M-Pesa. Launched in Kenya in 2007, and now expanded globally, M-Pesa is a mobile money platform that has transformed financial inclusion. By allowing users to send and receive money, pay bills, and access credit via mobile phones, M-Pesa has empowered millions of unbanked individuals to participate in the formal economy. Its success has inspired similar initiatives worldwide, showcasing the power of mobile technology to drive financial inclusion.

The healthcare space in Nigeria has LifeBank. The company uses Google Maps API technology to deliver supply chain sensitive medical products such as blood, vaccines, and oxygen. With LifeBank, doctors can now request a blood type and immediately access a map that tracks the journey of the delivery. Lifebank is today, transforming access to critical healthcare in Africa.

In addition, telemedicine platforms such as South Africa’s Hello Doctor and Nigeria’s EzzyCare and GoCare offer virtual consultations and healthcare services, increasing access to healthcare in the continent. Ubenwa in Nigeria uses AI-powered wearable devices to detect birth asphyxia.

Education is not left out. In online learning there are several platforms including South Africa’s Obami and Nigeria’s EduTech which offer online learning platforms for African students, providing access to quality education. Kenya’s Eneza Education uses AI-powered adaptive learning tools to improve learning outcomes for students, while South Africa’s Rethink Education uses AI to personalize learning.

These examples illustrate the innovative ways technology is being used to address the continent’s unique challenges and opportunities. There are hundreds of firms in this space operating in different sectors across the African continent. But to fully realize the potential of Tech for Good, several strategies need to be pursued.

The First is inclusive innovation. Innovation must be inclusive, ensuring that technological solutions are designed with and for the communities they aim to serve. Engaging local stakeholders, understanding cultural contexts, and addressing specific needs are crucial for creating impactful and sustainable solutions.

Secondly, public-private partnerships are essential ingredients to drive Tech for Good. Collaboration between governments, the private sector, and non-profit organisations can amplify the reach and effectiveness of Tech for Good initiatives. Public-private partnerships can mobilize resources, foster innovation, and scale successful models to broader populations.

In addition, digital literacy and accessibility are imperative. Enhancing digital literacy and ensuring access to technology are fundamental to bridging the digital divide. Investment in education and infrastructure, particularly in underserved regions, is essential to empower individuals and communities to leverage technological advancements.

Moreover, ethical considerations are indispensable. Ethical considerations must be at the forefront of Tech for Good initiatives. Ensuring data privacy, security, and equitable access to technology are paramount to building trust and achieving long-term positive outcomes.

Furthermore, there must be a focus on sustainable business models. Developing sustainable business models that align social impact with financial viability is key to the longevity of Tech for Good projects. Social enterprises and impact investment can play a vital role in fostering innovations that deliver both social and economic returns.

Tech for Good embodies the promise of technology as a force for positive change. By addressing critical challenges in healthcare, education, agriculture, and beyond, technology can indeed create a more equitable and sustainable world.

As we move forward, fostering inclusive innovation, strengthening collaborations, and upholding ethical standards will be essential to maximizing the impact of Tech for Good initiatives globally. The journey towards a better future is paved with the responsible and visionary use of technology, transforming lives and societies for the greater good.

Don Pedro Aganbi is the Convener of the popular annual Titans of Tech Conference, Exhibition and Awards. He can be reached via:

Don Pedro Aganbi

Don Pedro Aganbi is a Nigerian Journalist, broadcaster, Filmmaker, brand and Public Relations Specialist and 1st prize winner, TV category, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) & Africa Information Society Initiatives (AISI) Awards. He is also a recipient of the Global IT Champion Awards, courtesy of World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA).

He is the Founder/Managing Partner, TechTV Network and convener of the hugely popular Titans of Tech Awards, Pan African Digital Initiative Summit & Expo and the TechTV Digital Agenda Forum.

Don Pedro Aganbi is the producer and host of the popular international award winning TV show, TechTV.

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