Given that technology, worldwide, has been the defining cultural and economic driver of the last fifty years, why sign up to be a victim of what’s next? - I am hoping one of the many staunch anti-technology evangelists I have come across in this country will give me a valid answer by the time this article makes its rounds on the internet.
I have a very close friend, one of my best friends, who does not believe in any business idea that involves the adoption of new technologies. He, like many other people I meet around here in the business world, has mastered the art of making excuses for technological laggards.
When I talk about resistance to technology, some will not understand what I mean given that their idea of technology ends with the latest Samsung galaxy or iPhone released. I see many people walking around with high priced cellphones with capabilities beyond the gram that they will never explore. When I talk about resistance to technology, I am talking about why our toll gates have not been digitalized, why the government is slow to adopt e-government technologies, and while buying online still frightens us.
You must have heard that Jumia, after seven years of operating, suspended its e-commerce platform activities in Cameroon because they were "not suitable" for the African state. "We came to the conclusion that our transactional portal as it is run today is not suitable to the current context in Cameroon," Jumia said in a statement. The above statement somewhat leans on the second part of the title of this article- It seems like they want to hang on the excuse that Cameroon and Cameroonians are just not ready for e-commerce. They take no responsibility for the part they have played in making sure things remain that way.
MTN and Orange are two of six investors behind Jumia, the others being European insurance giant AXA, Goldman Sachs, CDC Group, and Rocket Internet (the primary investor.) In 2017, on the occasion of Jumia’s 5th year anniversary in Cameroon, I wrote an article on here titled ‘MTN AND ORANGE SHOULD BE BLAMED FOR THE RETARDED GROWTH OF E-COMMERCE IN CAMEROON.’ In that article, I explored some of the main reasons why e-commerce is not catching steam in Cameroon. I will put a link to that article in the comments section for your reference but I think these lines from the article say it all:-
“The lack of trust in the MTN and Orange brands coming from the poor customer service exhibited in other sectors of the companies have cascaded into the mobile money and e-commerce sectors of their business. If people can’t trust you to be honest about the 1 franc that suddenly disappeared from their phone, you can be sure they will do everything to avoid dealing with you whenever possible.”
With just over a month to go into the new year, I guess I can say this is the year 2020 and we are still uncomfortable with making online transactions. Meanwhile the incompetence of technological service providers is still a contributing factor, I believe our technological illiteracy and just mere resistance to change contribute more to that effect. It amazes me that even today, many youth don’t even know how to use something as simple as e-mail. Some will not recognize an email address which does not have yahoo or gmail in it. For many, the internet is FB, IG, and WA.
My good friend mentioned above makes valid points when he argues against a business idea that is significantly dependent on tech that requires the participation of customers. My issue with him and with many of us and the reason I am writing this article is that not many of us seem to be wanting to change that narrative. It is like we do not understand that technophobia is one major reason why we are so far behind economically which affects other parts or our lives like our culture.
I wish tech giants like MTN and Orange were doing enough to permit me put all the blame on the people but when we see things like Jovi’s online album sales portal crashing from what I can consider minor traffic, it makes it hard for me to make the case which I am about to make.
Since April this year, I have been using MuzeeDigital to distribute tickets to my events and to sell raffle tickets for the Limbe Festival of Arts and Culture. My experience using their service has been more than satisfactory. Being someone with a tech background, I can say they are doing the best with what they have. On the 30th of November, I am organizing a all female cast concert in Douala. Tickets are currently on sale online for just one thousand francs. If you have never bought something online before, I want you to make this your first try. Follow this link to purchase a ticket to the concert using mobile money:-
Even if you can’t make it to the event, you can still buy a ticket just to support the girls and also begin your journey to becoming tech comfy. Your next business idea might be a tech one, how then do you expect to sell what you don’t use?
I will like to get your feedback on the platform and the process after you buy your ticket.
Article Source  :  Poise Social 
- Tino Foy
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