Africans Embrace Your #Blerd on Social Media
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
“Social Media – a set of internet-based applications
and websites that allow users to communicate directly
with friends and strangers alike – are increasingly
changing the way business is conducted in Africa.”
Social Media is becoming the communication platform
for global communication as mobile technology access
is increasing and the infrastructure supporting
communication in Africa grows.
The United States of America does not have the only
growth in Social Media platform development and
integration through multiple forms of societal
connections. Nations like China, Japan, Great Britian
and other European countries are slightly
behind, but understand the value of Social Media.
The next venture is the continent of Africa, globally
this new market place is a developing center for
continued expansion in technology applications.
Social Media is a platform with so many diverse tools
that Africans are reaching for educational, economic,
cultural and collaborative connections.
The nation of Nigeria has steadily grown in its digital
thirst, representing its own national need for
Smartphones, Tablets and other mobile technologies
to allow for national and global embracing of ideas
to empower, educate and enrich their youth, teens
and young adults.
Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and other nations of
Africa are shining lights of intellect in understanding
the need to expand technology integration, the
intellectual ability of great authors of African
literature are sharing their content globally and
students are learning more of their place in global
influence. Politicians are learning to be
more transparent in their works for the people
they represent, they are being held accountable by
Social Media feeds which document every word,
sentence and paragraph.
Creativity and innovation are birthing students in
African universities, basking in the ability to
communicate with professionals that help
strengthen Africa’s need to educate its people, employ
its people with technology skills that are
changing the landscape of Africa in commerce,
industries and education.
So strong is the Internet’s potential in Africa,
”a 2013 report by McKinsey & Company, places the
continent’s iGDP – or internet contribution to GDP
at $18 billion,” and continues to grow.
The growing embrace of technology will allow
children of Africa to see what they can achieve
beyond their lands, how they can improve their
lives and the lives of others by providing tools
to allow much needed services to be developed
at home to help Africans expand their influence.
The movement of Africa, helping Africans expanding
across borders, cultures, religions and distances
to share and collaborate as never before.
African children, teens and young adults are
learning that they to can be Blerds (Black Nerds)
and expand their love of literature, reading,
the Arts, music and communication with the Diaspora
as never been possible before. Africa has an
estimated $18-billion social media industry that
is expanding as the infrastructures foundation is
being established. The importance of infrastructure
allows wired and mobile networks to expand their
reach and influence across Africa. There is a gap,
but this infrastructural gap will only close with
investment by domestic and foreign investors.
“You can never have too much infrastructure,”
stated Wild Fusion’s Abasiama
African technology and Social Media skills should be
encouraged, supported and importantly respected and
cultivated by global communities, not just for economic
potential, but for the potential for Africans to
contribute on a global scale to solve their own issues
and influence positive global sharing of ideas, there
will be a point where intellect will be as valuable as
the natural resources as the continent itself.
African children as in Nigeria should be learning it
is cool to be a Blerd and Geek; to love Science, to
embrace technology, to read, to code, enjoy comic books
and the intellectual enjoyment of attending technology
conferences, workshops and seminars.
As technology grows on the continent African children
should be able to access writings by Chinua Achebe,
Wole Solinka and Chimmamunda Adidiche, learning of
the past and how to apply it to the present and
future. African girls will break the
chains of societal restrictions in educational
growth by earning degrees, certificates to move beyond
past limitations. Girls and women are accepting that
girls and women are powerful through their intellect,
empowering each other through intellectual discussions,
research, collaboration and networking. They can
be competitive, contribute to the growth of their
communities and their country.
Technology will allow African children to show their
intellectual abilities, to “come out” and embrace
their Nerdiness because they are proud to be smart,
gifted in their educational goals and love technology
for its ability to build equability in education,
skill development and employment options.
For too many years the world as a whole had the mentality
that Africans were not intellectually capable of using
technology. Applying it for the good of the nations
and continent, these views and historical thoughts are
rapidly changing as Africans are developing their
This closed mindedness is rapidly changing around the
world and where it is most important in Africa itself
where youth, teens and young adults have hope for a
better future through education.
Africans still have to fight past the stereotypes,
racism, economics and even educational challenges, but
can proudly join a brotherhood and sisterhood of Blerds
and Geeks.Technology does not know color nor does it
care about a persons culture. It can embrace, empower
and engage all.
Africans can now access global libraries, museums,
cultural events that are local and international
if the infrastructure is in place or globally with
platforms and tools that allow for real time interaction.
The integration of STEAM:
Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics,
in more African elementary schools has allowed children
to explore new areas of intellectual growth. Teaching
critical thinking and higher order thinking that is
needed in a grown technological society.
STEAM encourages critical thinking skills and higher order
rationalization that encourages creativity and innovation.
“Where there is a will there is a way,” and for
centuries Africans individually and collectively have
had the will, technology provides diverse “ways” to
solve agricultural, industrial, and other national needs.
AFricans are forming their own digital communities that
are embracing social consciousness to improving the future
of Africa as a continent. Shifting paradigms in the
university systems of Africa are extending to the
lower areas of high
schools, middle and elementary age children.
Education is changing the mentally of how Africans
see themselves in global discussons. As mobile technology
expands so does the digital reach of African youth,
teens and young adults. Obi Asika, the founder, Dragon
Africa, and CEO of Storm 360, both Nigerian entertainment
companies. Mr. Asika attributed most of the
increase in internet access to better mobile platfomrs.
“Mobile internet access is now really what’s the key driver.”
Many people still do not understand the size and diversity
of Africa so there are still remote areas where access points
are limited. As African children gain access to increased
technology and Social Media platforms their vision of self
will change, their designation of self image, abilities and
growth will diversity and the solidification of their
place in a world where technology is life and life is technology.
Human interaction is the key, Africans can work together not
against each other.
“African Blerds are developing a natural equilibrium with
technology, allowing it to be an extension for global presence
and building influence. Africans are developing their own
Matrix, not waiting on others to define their existence.
So vast is Africa that Africans are creating “their own
digital ether;” the ability to engage in a digital
environment, living, exchanging information as only Africans can.”
Edward Waters College – Educational Technology and Social Media.
African Social Networks
Top 10 African Social Networks – Top Ten
Africa Social Media Consumption