What does tech have for 2022?  

What you need to know:

In 2021, most tech innovations were aimed at giving the world a ladder up against the pandemic. We spoke to Ugandans who interact with technology on a daily basis about what innovations made 2021, and what will trend in 2022. Paul Murungi writes.

The ongoing pandemic has changed the way we live and view the world. Things have become more digitised, personalised, and distanced from one another. But through this distance, technology has been working to bring people closer together. This has led to the rapid development of innovations in various fields- shopping, medicine, production and supply chain management.

In 2022, the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to impact our lives. This means that we will continue to see an accelerated rate of digitisation and virtualisation of business and society. Flexibility, agility, and innovative thinking, will lead the way as the focus shifts from surviving to thriving in a changing world.

Angela Kateemu – Communications Advisor, John Snow, Inc.

Angela Kateemu – Communications Advisor, John Snow, Inc.

Artificial Intelligence

At one time, it was just Jumia; business people last year realised they don’t need the middle man.

They just need to use digital platforms to get what they want (clients) or sell and reach more diverse clients. This is a business revolution that will only get better.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not a new phenomenon but has gained more momentum in the last two years, and it is no secret that in the future, AI will run everything.

Regarding business transactions, AI has been used to analyse interactions to determine connections and insights, to predict behaviour and demand.

Take for instance Google and Facebook are now using AI to predict what ads to send to your feed just from your searches.

While this is a good thing, it has increased the mistrust in using the internet.

Lately, any page you open wants to add cookies to your computer or phone and before you know it, you will be targeted with their products, just resulting from your search or engagement with their content.

Zoom/Teams/Google-Meet

These interaction platforms have ruled in the last two years of the pandemic. They have single handedly showed that remote working is possible because they offer the platform for meeting that would have been impossible with remote working.

In the future, organisations, companies’ will stop spending hefty sums of money arranging meetings and workshops since they spend less on bandwidth to have a day-long workshop.

The laptop and Internet are two things that have kept business in business, and enabled people to keep working. While laptops are not new: the demand has necessitated diversity and advancement.

The laptop and operating softwares have gone out to create a complete «workplace» on the computer. So many apps have been developed to address issues that would be presented by remote working. Many businesses and companies who have been working remotely -thanks to the computer and Internet may not re-open, or at least not require as much office space since remote working has actually proved possible in some cases.

Isaac Odong – Business development and marketing, Service Cops. 

Isaac Odong – Business development and marketing, Service Cops. 

Growth in tech

One of the tech trends that has changed the way of doing business, is WhatsApp bot. It has made it simpler for customers to make transactions online such as insurance, but also pay school fees and check their balances using WhatsApp.

WhatsApp botis one of the many innovations that is being adopted by other industries.

Companies have also become more innovative in marketing and advertising to cut back costs. For instance, the market now has software that ideally helps measure feedback when adverts are published and also see if the adverts are being delivered. We have developed search engine optimisation tools to help clients on google advertising without spending a hefty fee.

In 2022, there will have a lot of automation for businesses, the first three months will be difficult as people get their businesses on foothold. But there will be a lot of competition for growth and funding.

I envisage a lot of digitisation for most of the services that will be online. For instance, e- commerce is going to grow by a very big margin.

You can observe that our tech startups are now securing investment early enough. For instance, Safe Boda has just secured investment from Google under the Africa investment fund.

This means there will be a lot of growth in tech, but also an investment in payment processes such as Chipper cash and flutter wave on the African continent. From the financial technology side, we see ease of payments without having to reach the bank.

 This means mobile money is going to be very minimal in payment processing especially for business owners.

Umar Sebyaala - Uganda Ecosystem Lead, cLabs

Umar Sebyaala - Uganda Ecosystem Lead, cLabs

Digital Currencies

The trend for crypto currency has been very positive overall in 2021. We saw the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador.

 The total market capitalisation of the crypto industry has grown from around $800 billion in January last year to around $2.2 trillion in December globally.

We also saw a lot of activity around Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) with central banks including the central bank of Nigeria, the bank of Ghana, the people’s bank of China, Bank of England, the US Federal reserve system all weighing in on the innovation and are at different stages of engagement with it.

Ugandans are ready to adopt crypto currency as it presents a host of user cases.

Uses cases of such a system can range from record keeping to financial transactions such as payments and remittances, savings, earning from microwork, lending and giving for humanitarian causes. 

But some recent scams have left a tainted image of crypto currency in Uganda.

We are very excited for 2022 because the pace has been set with crypto currency transactions going mobile.

The enactment of the National Payment Systems (NPS), Act 2020 with its regulations released in March, 2021 is a robust piece of regulation that can be applied to electronic money and the infrastructure that supports it.

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