Toasting in 2012

Cheers to us all for surviving 2011! We have a lot to be thankful for and definitely much more to look forward to in the year ahead. This rings true for the tech world as well-technology shaped History in 2011 and as we forge ahead into the second decade of the century, technology holds promise to solve a lot of our problems. Well, 2011…
Alline Akintore
Alline Akintore

Cheers to us all for surviving 2011! We have a lot to be thankful for and definitely much more to look forward to in the year ahead. This rings true for the tech world as well-technology shaped History in 2011 and as we forge ahead into the second decade of the century, technology holds promise to solve a lot of our problems. Well, 2011…

Rwanda’s tech scene was alight this year with the introduction of a Carnegie-Mellon campus in Kigali. This is just one of the many steps that are going to see Rwanda take leaps and bounds ahead of our neighbors in information technology (and management) and stoke the flames of tech entrepreneurship in an already budding venture environment.

Social networking (Facebook and Twitter) take gold this year for providing the fuel to bring down dictatorships across Northern Africa; this invaluable tool enabled protesters to rally together and unite against brutal dictatorships.

Mobile App fever in East Africa continued to be it-thing this year with Safaricom providing 18 million subscribers access to doctors through mobile health platforms; the app called MedAfrica uses a business model of free content supported by advertising. I added this piece of news really just to annoy Rwandans into joining the race in 2012. Now you cannot say you don’t have new  year resolutions…

BlackBerry seems to have been the talk of 2011 for all the wrong reasons: RIM stocks plummeted 76% this year sparking rumors about a takeover by companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Nokia- reports that are yet to be confirmed and which seem very unlikely. BlackBerry appears to be fairing fairly well in Africa (except for that oh-so-annoying outage late this year) so don’t hold your breath.

Sadder still, this year the tech world lost some of the individuals who have shaped computing as we know it today. Three notable people are Steve Jobs of Apple, Dennis Ritchie the founder of Unix and C and Jack Goldman the founder of Xerox PARC (the guys that brought us literally, everything!)…

Speaking of people, my 2011 tech person of the year (and please note this is MY choice) is Jeff Bezos of Amazon. He gets this ‘Alline prize’ of the year not only for running the world’s largest online retailer but more interestingly for creating the 42nd fastest supercomputer on earth –it gets better, it is virtual! I won’t go into the juicy fine points but this feat is impressive by any standards. In other news, IPOs in 2011 such as for Zynga and LinkedIn were probably small compared to the possible Facebook IPO expected in 2012 that could potentially eclipse the 2004 Google IPO that shook the markets. 

My succinct take on 2011 does not do the year justice-let’s bid farewell 2011 on a light note however and own 2012 (if the Mayans were right you have nothing to lose anyway). Happy New Year folks!

akintore@gmail.com

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