Digitisation: Game changer for rural Africa?
This issue of the Rural 21 Journal presents technologies and initiatives with practical relevance, that bear a potential for up-scaling, are locally adapted and can above all benefit small-scale farmers and the young generation. The first article (PDF) discusses how smallholder farmers can benefit from digital technologies. The author takes a look at various agricultural services in the mobile-phone branch, from weather and price information through credit schemes to supply chain management. It shows which systems have the biggest prospects of success and why others are doomed to failure. Additionally, the issue demonstrates which areas could still make significant progress on reaching inclusive rural digitization. One solution to make digitization more inclusive is an innovative approach to bypass the constraint of ICT illiteracy among farmers in developing countries by channeling information through children of the households (PDF). Another article (PDF) discusses the need for young innovators and entrepreneurs to develop ICT applications for agriculture to address the crucial employment issues faced by the younger generation and unlock the potential of agribusiness. This article focuses on promoting entrepreneurship as one of the numerous formats for engaging youth leveraging on digital technologies developed by CTA. Digital technologies hold a great potential to trigger changes in African agriculture. But the issue of who actually benefits from new developments and whether they are not increasing pressure on those who are already marginalized instead of supporting fair participation should not be overlooked (PDF).