When “Google” was coined in the 1930s attributing it to the nephew of American Mathematician Edward Kasner, possibly it was never envisaged how its creative spelling would influence the modern world. Even before our routine morning gurgle at our washbasins our hand is inclined to reach for the mobile and the…no points for guessing the name of the search engine.
As far as the economy related facet goes there is a remarkable surge in e-commerce with the growing awareness of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ghana is no exception when it comes to adapting itself to the new normal. In fact businesses across West Africa are seeing a boost in online sales although to some extent there is a digital divide and not everyone has access to the Internet. The pandemic seems to further expose the digital divide problem between the major cities and towns of West African countries.
According to 2017 estimates from the World Bank, in Sub-Saharan Africa only about 25% of the population used the Internet but now there is an increase in Internet usage due to the pandemic. This should create more job opportunities like those in e-commerce. It can also mean a rise in demand for the paper industry as paper is required for packaging of goods without which goods’ delivery in the ‘warehouse to home’ model wouldn’t be possible.
As the pandemic prevents physical meetings a lot of data is being consumed over online business meetings. Recent figures reveal a spiraling trend in Ghana’s Internet usage. As of January 2020, Ghana registered approximately 14.76 million Internet users as against 10.32 million in January 2019. The Internet penetration rate in Ghana as of January 2020 has reached 48% up from 35% in the same month in the previous year.
It is said that even nectar if consumed in excess can bring about the misdoings of poison. Connectivity to the self is virtually being severed with the click of the mouse and swipe of the mobile screen as minds are getting more engaged in a data-driven world. But then such are the ways of emerging technologies and the Internet craze seems to head towards horizons that challenge geographical boundaries.