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Where Africa and Technology Collide!

African Digerati: Rafiq Phillips

Rafiq Phillips

Rafiq Phillips is 4th in the African Digerati series of interviews. He is a South African who is heavily invested in development on the web and mobile devices. His application, iDrive, a source for driving school instructors has been made available on both web and mobile platforms. Rafiq is also very active within the African blogosphere through the Web AddiCT’s blog.

Like the others who have been interviewed so far, Rafiq is actively taking part in the discussions that will move Africa ahead using technology, and is also doing it.

Blog and/or website:
www.rafiq.za.net/blog
www.idrive.co.za and a handful of other sites.

What do you do:
I decrease the road death rate on South African roads by using technology. Well, thats what I’d like to believe I do. I’m Your Web AddiCT an acronym, Web Application Development, Design & Innovation in Cape Town, accidentally created while trying to categorize our blog. The acronym covers most of what I do on the projects we are involved in..

Who are some of your biggest influences?
My parents, The people you instant message (Jabber, Mxit, Skype) and the RSS feeds I subscribe to.

If you weren’t involved with technology, what would you do instead?
What doesn’t involve some sort of Technology?

Name one book that you would label “required reading” for those in the African technology sphere:
Required reading: Save a tree, read RSS! My Google Reader’s Trends reveals from the 75 RSS subscriptions, over the last 30 days I’ve read 1,191 items.

What emerging technologies are you most excited about?

  • Open Source Software
  • Mobile Web Applications
  • Widgets
  • XML
  • RSS

What do you see as the biggest advantage or opportunity for African technology development?
The biggest advantage for African technology development is that the majority of Africans missed the Internet’s growing pains. We have a great opportunity to learn from mistakes made by the rest of the world and prevent them from being repeated on our Continent. Lets not confuse education with marketing. Google is not the only search engine. Internet Explorer is not the only web browser. We have a great opportunity to improve the lives of everyone on this continent by embracing technology and creating sustainable solutions that create wealth.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for African technology development?
High cost of connectivity/bandwidth, lack of quality unbiased education/training in Internet Technologies.

What are your thoughts on the impact of blogging in Africa?
Brings us closer together.

5 Comments

  1. I enjoy this site

  2. Good answers Rafiq. 🙂

    I agree that we can learn from the countries who have already gone through their internet booms, we can improve on their mistakes.

  3. Nice profile
    By the way I still flunked my road test despite going through I-drive.co.za.
    (Maybe I should nt have taken that tot to calm my nerves) 🙂

  4. Rafiq, what’s up with M&G site for nominations? It keeps crashing. Is there a consiracy afoot. Tried to submit for Matt Buckland (former M&G) and was told site was unavailable…Any idea why there are issues?

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