Tanya Accone, 29, executive producer for M-Web Africa, an Internet-service provider based in Johannesburg, South Africa that builds African communities online.
"Today, less than 1% of the world's 360 million Internet users live in Africa. Imagine a place without postal delivery, where the nearest telephone is more than 100 kilometers away. Now consider the Internet in that environment. It will fundamentally transform Africa, more so than any other place in the world. Africa, which is now divided by many regional languages, will be united through localized online channels such as touch-screen kiosks beefed up with auditory and visual features. A medium that is currently accessible only to the educated will be open to everyone — even the vast number of people who are illiterate."
"The Net will drive commercial activity, allowing us to leapfrog stages of development. But we still have plenty of work cut out for us if we want to join the global majority."
Futurology Decoder Key
"Information matters, but in a digital world, where knowledge is ubiquitous, innovation matters even more. The greatest global resource that Africans can provide is creative capital, the kind of beyond-the-box thinking derived from boxes completely different from the ones that dominate today's business world. Africans will use the Internet to leverage their creativity and showcase their culture around the world."
Contact Tanya Accone by email (taccone@mWebafrica.com), or visit M-Web Africa on the Web (www.mWebafrica.com).
A version of this article appeared in the December 2000 issue of Fast Company magazine.