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Mon, 11 Sep 2023 Technology

African Union and Emerging and Immersive Technologies for African Youth

By William Jackson, M. Ed.
African Union and Emerging and Immersive Technologies for African Youth
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The development of immersive and emerging technologies will be vitally important for African nations to be engaged in and opportunities to build collaborations, cooperations and partnerships in the new technologies that are impacting African education, business, commerce, and finances. Africans are empowering themselves with information to build themselves as entrepreneurs in digital ecosystems.

These ecosystems can be seen in conferences like Power of Africa (POA), Project ASHA, WordCamp conferences across Africa, and other events. Africa is the fastest growing continent with Smartphone technologies, stated in published articles.

The influence of Smartphone technologies over the last decade will continue into the future as published by Petroc Taylor, Jul 18, 2023, "The number of smartphone subscriptions in

Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to reach 689 million by 2028, based on steady growth seen in earlier years. There were 415 million smartphone subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022."

The growth may not even slow because of the population explosion across Africa, India, and certain areas of Asia. The growth of youth, teens and young adults using wireless technologies ignites the use and in some cases abuse to digital devices.

The African Union is a continental union of 54 African nations, following the decolonization of Africa there was a need to unify the continent to prevent future colonization either politically or

economically, in commerce and business. The colonization of Africa in education was also a major issue, with Acts like the “text book act” that Chinua Achebe described in his books where books presented Africans as ignorant and subhuman by the British. This created a demeaning mind-set in the perceptions Africans had of themselves and what was projected to the world.

In 2002 the AU was born to help collaboration in building a stronger and united Africa. To change the perceptions of the world and Africa’s own perceptions of herself. There is even an important and vital part of the AU to involve the African Diaspora globally, to invite people not just from the color of their skin, but the heritage of their backgrounds and their connections to Africa. There is a solidarity of unity and economic collaborations, but works are in place to provide free travel with visa free travel, increased united currency that is African that can compete with global currencies.

The beauty of the AU https://au.int/en has united in many ways the continent and helped to build stronger and stable countries. Much of this information can be found here on The African Union Explained https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6q0gIxg3Mc

The incorporation of technologies is a key element to building businesses that generate wealth and connect to global markets. Implying the need for trainings in NFTs, Bitcoin, Web 3, IOT, AI, MR, VR and Metaverse technologies to name a few areas. Companies like My Quest To Teach are building metaverse galleries for African technology conferences ( https://metaversewp.com ) and sponsoring students and teachers to attend these conferences so they won’t have to pay the registration fees. The AU is in the process of gaining increased knowledge how it can build technological resources to help Africans enter into the digital realms that are present and in the future.

The African Union can grow Africa digitally by integrating the metaverse into African businesses

by offering opportunities for growth and innovation. To provide low cost or even free resources

that empower small and medium size Africans that are entrepreneurs and visionaries that want to grow their businesses and provide services and resources not just in their communities, but across the continent.

There is not specific information on how the African Union can integrate the metaverse to build African businesses, but access to global think tanks, conferences and inviting youth, teens

and young adults that are the best continental resources to join in the process. This new generation of youth will develop potential ways that this integration could be achieved. The educational systems as well must change to provide free access to education into secondary school and educational supplements provided for higher education and vocational education.

The African Union should be playing a crucial role in promoting the development of technological infrastructures that are necessary for the metaverse to be expanded and access provided. Unfortunately, access to wifi is still out of reach for millions of Africans and in real terms sometimes African people go without eating for days just to make sure their data is paid for and they have access to family and friends. Investing in broadband connectivity, supporting the development of data centers, having access to satellite communications and even access to the fiber optic networks already in place in the oceans and seas surround Africa. There are access point already in place, but African people are being denied access to these resources or the cost is not affordable.

If the goal is to build Africa into a global economic and commerce influencer Africans must have access to technologies, wifi resources and investments to expand and employ other Africans.

There should be strategies in place that encourage the adoption of emerging technologies such as 5G networks or faster, building the necessary infrastructure that schools have free or discounted internet and metaverse access. The African Union can create an environment conducive to the integration of the metaverse into African businesses to build economic ecosystems that compete with the United States, Europe, and Asia.

As a professor in higher education and public education I have always taught students that we live in a global economy. To enhance this with African youth, teens, and young adults the African Union can facilitate collaboration and partnerships between local businesses, technology companies, data centers, Smartphone providers and international stakeholders. Sponsoring and organizing conferences, workshops, and events that bring together stakeholders from both the technology and business sectors, but helping the future of Africa by providing youth, teens and young adults their own conferences, workshops, and trainings. Building a digital workforce that is fostering collaborations and connections across the

continent. The African Union can create opportunities for knowledge sharing, skill development, and the exchange of ideas related to integrating the metaverse into African businesses so youth, teens and young adults can have businesses that pay into the tax structures that are used to build and maintain the cities, communities, neighborhood and even villages.

There have been multiple technology conferences across Africa that have provided youth and teen workshops. These should be supported by the resources of The African Union that need to support the organizers, speakers, volunteers, and sponsors that see a great vision for Africa through each generation. To fully leverage the potential of the metaverse, African businesses will need a skilled workforce, creatives, innovators, visionaries, artists, and designers. The African Union can work with educational institutions and training centers like ICT to develop programs that equip individuals with the necessary skills to thrive in the metaverse. This could include training in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 3D modeling, coding, and other relevant areas. Investing in education and skills development, the African Union can ensure that African businesses have access to a talented workforce capable of navigating the metaverse.

Using the models of recent WordCamp Entebbe, WordCamp Jinja, WordCamp Kampala, WordCamp Nairobi, WordCamp Masaka with their youth and teen workshops, this helps to build a much needed mentoring and teaching strategy that will influence the future.

The African Union was built on the understanding that a united Africa is a stronger Africa. Strength to defy future colonialist invasion by foreign nations, strength in building economic parity and even be a global competitor with the world and having its youth, teens and young adults built into business owners, investors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries for Africa.

Understanding how the ICT structure and resources are helping and need to be supported and reinforced is important with investment opportunities, collaborations with WordCamp conferences and increased collaboration with businesses like My Quest To Teach that are providing access to help with accessibility, access and immersion into the metaverse. Links to African and global conferences on the metaverse can be found here: https://metaversewp.com/

The existence of African ICT centers are specialized institutions or facilities that focus on information and communication technology (ICT). They are designed to help in the development and innovation in Africa. These centers hope to play a crucial role in advancing a digital landscape and promoting the use of technology for education and business across various sectors in Africa. The success of The African Union will need to participation of the African youth, teens and young adults that are the future of Africa.

William Jackson, M.Ed. World Metaverse Council, WordPress / WordCamp

MetaverseWP, My Quest To Teach

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