Television stations led by Crisis News Network, a joking name for CNN and other global and local media houses have created an illusion of hopelessness amidst abundance.
We are living right on the cusp of productivity explosion, so much is changing rather quickly as entrepreneurs create abundance in various spheres of technology and biotech painting a future characterized by abundance despite news of scarcity such as famine and drought.
Just about 15 years ago, a mobile phone was almost as expensive as a used car and only the rich could afford it, fast forward and everyone can get it at less than the cost of a shirt. The age of internet came rather fast and browsing has been very expensive despite the advent of fibre optic cables. However, the entry of startups such as Facebook and Google are moving to provide free internet for all and creating a democratic space of abundance never seen before. Already the cost of internet is dropping rapidly as new entrants such as Surfspot force large telecoms to cut prices.
This is trend is also being witnessed in the energy sector where once expensive solar panels that were only owned by a few are now becoming cheaper with roofing tiles now being replaced by solar panels helping to make power supply abundant for sale to the grid. Several houses in Nairobi have their roofs covered by solar panels instead of tiles thanks to startups such as Strauss Energy where the power output is more than is needed by one home.
As the cost of solar energy continues to reduce, the cost of converting sea water to fresh water through desalinization is also falling promising abundant water that forms most of the earth’s surface. This means enough water for irrigation, for drinking and for everything else.
On the biotechnology space, rising beef prices will soon be contained by tried and tested but not yet approved method that will see cells from certain sections of cattle taken for rapid cell division creating food for millions of people at a cheaper price rather than herds of cattle whose owners fight over pasture.
On the education front, schools such as Bridge Academy are cutting the cost of education by putting more emphasis on content and less on buildings. The syllabus is updated with the push of a button unlike where it takes ten years for the government to do so. At schools like Andela, on Ngong Road, the learners are paid to learn. Other free schools are Khan Academy, Coursera and many others.
The number of electric cars in Nairobi is rising day after another. Tesla Motors has resolved the problem of range on which electric cars were dismissed and now electric cars can travel from Nairobi to Mombasa on a single charge. The price of electric cars is also falling making it a mass market vehicle. We will soon not need petrol or diesel to power cars, we will charge our cars with solar cells. A world where cars do not need oil change, no air and oil filter changes is right here with us. Unlike other people who worry about everything from weather to famine, entrepreneurs create abundance and hope.
So many other things are in the line in various spheres of life including the possibilities occasioned by the Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain technology which having being rejected by the central bank of Kenya in 2015 will soon revolutionize finance across the globe eliminating fraud that has seen banks lose billions of shillings to cyber criminals.
We are leaving on the cliff of abundance even as self-driving cars which are expected to cut the rates of accidents move into the new space helping to also reduce insurance premiums.
These and other possibilities were not achieved by people who are focused on the proverbial ten percent annual corporate targets but instead driven exponential thinking exhibited by the growth of bacteria.