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article imageOp-Ed: Senegal: World's first 'Tablet Cafe' will change Africa

By Gibril Koroma     Jun 10, 2013 in Technology
Dakar - Something huge happened not too long ago in the small Francophone West African country of Senegal. The world's first "Tablette Cafe" was opened there by Google.
Now what is a tablet? Well, it's just a small computer that does not need to be connected to an outlet to access electricity and get it going; it is like a laptop but smaller. It resembles your iPhone, but bigger.
Why Senegal? Like most African countries Senegal's electricity is very unreliable, with frequent power cuts and very slow computers.
So Google, the world famous search engine saw a very lucrative business opportunity in supplying and funding one of the cafes in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, with tablets that use batteries, a common item that is available everywhere in Africa at minimal cost.
According to rappler.com the cafe first tablet cafe (known as Tablette Cafe in French) has caught the imagination and excitement of the people of Dakar and Francophone Africa. Anglophone, Lusophone and Arabophone Africa will catch on soon.
This innovation is going to revolutionize Internet usage in Africa and the rest of the world and in a few years the digital divide in Africa (a situation where Africans do not have access to the Internet) will be a thing of the past.
Thenextweb.com reports speculations that tablet shipments will soon overtake PC shipments around the world in 2015 which in effect means PCs will in a few years be obsolete.
Bloomberg.com, in one of their recent reports on the tablets issue painted a glorious picture of the future of the mini-computers involving millions of dollars in sales, while eclipsing and gradually pushing out of business the more traditional computers.
The tablets are not cheap but with increased demand, it is very likely the cost will go down. Soon, what most of Africa's numerous Internet cafes will need are some batteries and an Internet network. Lack of reliable electricity? No problem. Lack of PCs? No problem. Who will need a PC anyway?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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