Attempting to carry the first Facebook satellite, Elon Musk’s Space X Rocket 9 exploded into flames, thereby destroying the FB satellite.
“I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent,’ Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post on Facebook. When a commenter asked what kind of insurance plan might cover such an incident, Zuckerberg responded that ‘the problem isn’t the money; it’s that now it may take longer to connect Africa.’ Later, he amended his statement, changing “Africa” to “people,” as if to underscore that his ambition was not merely continental but global.” Anthony Lydgate. The New Yorker.
Is Zuckerberg sincere in changing his wording from “Africa” to “people”? Is his mission truly global or is it a race to Africa for internet and connectivity? One could argue that this is a moot point and that Zuckerberg’s overall goal is to spread Western values and propaganda throughout the globe and Africa.
Singer and Entrepreneur, Akon.
In contrast, singer and entrepreneur Akon, received a $1 Billion backing from Chinese investors to help spread his Africa lighting initiative. Akon’s goal is to bring electricity to all of Africa. According to CNN writer, Pheobe Parke, 600 million Africans are still without power. As someone who spent most of his childhood in Senegal, one can be certain that Akon has the interest of the African people at heart. The difference? In Musk and Zuckerberg’s case, the two seem to have large personal goals that do not offer “Africa,” or excuse me, “the people” of Africa any agency in their decision making. Though the Chinese may benefit to some capacity, the $1B investment will help spread resources, jobs, and wealth to the African people. So then, who will win the race to Africa? I guess the better question is, who SHOULD win the race to Africa?
What matters most right now, electricity or connectivity?