Imagine seeing a Maasai warrior texting on a cellular phone; or the glow of a computer screen coming from the mud hut dwellings of a small African family. It seems an unlikely sight but it is becoming commonplace as technological developments make their way throughout the world. People everywhere are realizing the importance and benefits that technology can bring even to the smallest, poorest, or often least known about places around the world. Cell phones, renewable energy, personal computers, and so much more are changing lives and helping developing countries grow and connect with the universe around them like never before.
The One Laptop Per Child program is aiming to change impoverished nations through education. The way they are doing this is by providing a small, specially made laptop that allows the children to connect and learn while in a school setting, as well as when they are at home. The initiative was started by professors at MIT and it lets children in the most restrictive parts of the world connect to the World Wide Web, as well as their own neighbors who also have the laptops. These computers have reached remote places throughout Africa and Cambodia. And in some cases are in homes that do not have electricity, enabling the family to not only have a source of communication, but also a basic light.
Technology is becoming the axis that the world is turning on and to be able to interact with it all, energy and electricity is a must. SunSaluter is working to bring solar power to underprivileged communities in Africa, Peru, and areas in southern India. They make solar panels that are made to rotate throughout the day following the sun’s movement, and yielding as much solar power as possible, all without using any electricity. These panels are made from local supplies, they are easy to put together and install as well as simple to maintain. Because of their efficiency, the power can help to bring electricity and energy to areas that would otherwise be impossible.
Out of all the advancements cell phones seem to offer the most help, and growth possibilities. Staying active in the communications industry has given Eshan Bayat professional experience in entrepreneurship and brought Afghanistan its largest wireless company, allowing the people there to be locally and globally interconnected. Telehealth is being used in Peru to collect data, and monitor female adult entertainment workers to help prevent STD’s, HIV, and other diseases. And International Development Enterprises work with farmers in Nepal. The famers bring their produce to a designated person in the community who uses the phone to broker the best deals and prices for the farmer’s goods, often increasing their earning potential to 3-4 times as much.
The reality is the world is changing, and technology is the tool reshaping it. No country is too small, poor, or isolated anymore. Communities are being connected, cultures are being reshaped, and the world is becoming one through the use of technology in developing countries.