[Africa Tech Week] Linking frontier technologies with infrastructure for sustainable development
The UN body dealing with trade, investment, and development issues, UNCTAD, on Tuesday launched a report Technology and Innovation Report 2018: Harnessing Frontier Technologies for Sustainable Development.
It says technologies on the frontier of what is possible can boost the ambitious agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals and help find global solutions to 21st century economic, social and environmental challenges.
At its launch, UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said frontier technologies hold the promise of reviving productivity and making plentiful resources to end poverty for good and enable more sustainable patterns of growth.
According to the report, frontier technologies are converging through the increasing use of digital platforms to produce new combinatory technologies, accelerating the pace of change across multiple sectors. It further calls for a concerted international effort to build technological capabilities and to support all forms of innovation in developing countries.
It says, Least developed countries, in particular, should receive international support to build their domestic capabilities and create an enabling environment necessary for frontier technologies to deliver.
If this is to go by then the entry of Voith into Ethiopia that will work with customers and investors develop a sustainable energy supply in Africa is timely. Voith, a technology group has opened its new East Africa Hub in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa where it will be planning and coordinating projects in nine countries in the east of the continent from this new facility.
With a hydropower potential of 45,000 MW, Ethiopia has one of the largest resources on the African continent. Ethiopian hydropower plants with Voith technology are supplying up to 900,000 households in the country with clean, sustainable electricity and the company is currently upgrading the small power plant Wanjii in Kenya.
Still, on building infrastructure through technology, Ethiopian Railways Corporation has selected Smiths Detection technology to safeguard people and infrastructure on the vital new railway link between Ethiopia and the port at Djibouti.
The 750km line now links Addis Ababa with the sea in approximately 10 hours. This is a huge improvement on the two or three days previously needed for trucks to haul imports and exports by road between the landlocked country and the Djibouti port, which is a strategic trade hub for Asia, Europe and the rest of Africa.
Djibouti telecommunications has also been boosted after PAR Technology Corporation announced that its subsidiary, Rome Research Corporation, has been awarded a U.S. Navy SeaPort-e task order to provide telecommunications operations at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.
Africa is also set to receive high bandwidth and consequently cheaper after telecommunications company, Angola Cables announced completion of 10,000 kilometers Monet submarine cable system.
Angola Cables together with Algar Telecom, Antel and Alphabet, Inc. have announced the completion of the 10,556 km Monet Cable System. This connects Boca Raton, Florida, to Fortaleza and Santos, Brazil, a state-of-the-art digital gateway between the United States and Brazil with a transmission capacity of more than 64 TB / s.
With all these technology advancements linked to infrastructure growth, we are sure is set to have inclusive and sustainable outcomes and end poverty for good as Mukhisa Kituyi said at the launch of the UNCTAD report.