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Leapfrogging Technology

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As Americans living in such an advanced society, we sometimes take for granted all the resources available to us and we forget to realize the hardships that other countries face.  Many nations in the world are desperately underserved in many ways; water and food shortages, rampant disease, outbreaks of uncontrolled violence, and the list goes on and on. 

We go about our daily lives, for the most part never  noticing the evidence of centuries of technological progress we enjoy. The power lines have always been there – water running through pipes underground appears out of our faucets, it’s all just part of our normal life.

Most of us never think about how getting to this point has taken decades of innovation, breakthroughs, and trial and error. There are many developing countries, particularly African ones, where millions of people are “leapfrogging” or skipping the technological evolution process and going straight to modern fixes. Incredibly these new technologies are  sustainable, and relatively inexpensive.

Ethiopia is building the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile river— once completed, the country will be able to generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity, more than four times its current total capacity. Though hydropower isn’t a new technology and does require grid infrastructure, it will help Ethiopia leapfrog over coal as a major energy source. – Quartz Africa

With the energy problem solved, connectivity can’t be far behind. The next hurdle to solve is the education deficit of millions of residents neither able to read or to write.

A shortage of qualified teachers in many African countries—combined with the fact that these same countries have the fastest-growing school-age population in the world—makes providing high-quality education a monumental task.

Tech hasn’t solved this problem yet, but it’s helping. Some companies have begun providing teachers with scripted lesson plans read from tablets.

Our world is evolving at a break neck pace – what a time to be alive!