African leaders made no tech statements at UN Assembly [Hi-Tech]

None of the about a dozen African leaders at the U.N. General Assembly made a statement about technology and its effects on the continent.

Technology is growing alright, but can we handle its negative effects if we don’t discuss how best to streamline its use.

Recently in Nigeria, Twitter and WhatsApp was used to fuel inter-ethnic violence despite warnings by the president and vice president against hate speech on social media.

We had a similar event in Kenya during the recently cancelled election when some people were arrested for sending messages on WhatsApp calling for ethnic cleansing.

Boko Haram and Al Shabaab are still posting videos online of their achievements and conquest.

The online scammers in Africa are having a field day while our security forces are waiting for them to be arrested by Western police and handed over to them.

Our leaders need to demand answers from the owners of these technologies because we can’t blame the people all the time.

Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Youtube and the others benefit from user activity. So if the users are causing harm with the tool, they need to devise means to prevent harm, and our leaders need to demand for it.

This demand was made by the leaders of Britain, France and Italy who held a meeting with tech leaders at the General Assembly demanding that they do more to tackle online posts that promote terrorism.

After a lot of pressure, the average lifetime of online propaganda by the Islamic State reduced from six days to 36 hours.

Macron, May and Gentiloni want terror posts to be removed in two hours.
The tech firms say they are trying their best to be swift without compromising on democracy and privacy.

These leaders are screaming for an action because they are facing serious threats in their countries. Should Africa wait till it gets out of hand?

Watch this edition of Hi-Tech on The Morning Call with Ismail Akwei for more.