From the Editor’s Keyboard

Waiting for Freetown’s First Tablet Cafe

By  | 11 June 2013 at 02:30 | 1284 views

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 much 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 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 the 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.

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?

I can’t wait to hear about the appearance of Sierra Leone’s first tablet cafe in Freetown. Wetin?

One of Google’s tablets.