Exclusive interview with Swaraj Ram, an Information Technology specialist within the African Union speaks about IT sector as the quickest growing and dynamic industry.
Can you tell us briefly about yourself?
I am Swaraj Ram from the Republic of Mauritius. I am an IT Professional with an intensive on-the-job experience acquired over a decade, coupled with academic knowledge in ICT, and trainings. I am also an active member of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and African Network for Policy Research and Advocacy for Sustainability (ANPRAS). Discipline, ability to work in teams, eagerness to learn more, self-respect and respect for others are some of his qualities that have enabled me to take up all responsibilities given to me so far. I am highly motivated by the desire to interact with people and help the most vulnerable as well as bring my humble contribution to generate societal change for a better world, which has many problems.
Who influenced you the most in life and why?
Many people tend to be influenced by the extraordinary. But personally I don’t have any specific person who has influenced me so far, I personally think I could have more bliss in my life if I became better attuned to the ordinary and if am able to find inspiration in my own everyday life. Daily struggles and difficulties of life taught me lessons and have influenced me.
The IT sector is said to be the quickest growing and dynamic industry in the world, can u tell us why and how?
From the moment you wake up to the moment you go back to sleep, Technology is everywhere. Technology is not only rapidly changing, but it’s changing so fast that most of us don’t even recognize these changes. We take most of it for granted, and consider it the norm. Many people have yet to realize just how rapid and profound the current digital revolution is, or how quickly it’s breaking down old institutions. The future is approaching even more quickly than we think. Right now, all the pieces are in place to completely change the face of products, technologies, organizations, and entrepreneurship over the next few years.
Information Technology (IT) is regarded as primary source in economic development and the various technological changes contribute significantly in the development of underdeveloped countries. Today, over 40 percent of the world’s population is online, which breaks down to about 3.5 billion people in the world. More than that, people’s primary means of accessing the web is via the small-yet-powerful smartphone so many carry around with them in their pockets all day long.
But if you think that only our personal lives are changing because of technology, think again. It’s also rapidly changing the way things get done in the world of business, too.
- Technology has the news industry in flux, one of the biggest industries that have seen a shift because of technology is that of NEWS. With social media having become the new norm, news spreads faster than ever. However, not all of it is positive or real. In an era where everyone rushes to be first, rushing to be correct doesn’t seem quite so important at least to readers. News organizations themselves are struggling for how to properly adapt to this trend, moving forward.
- Information Technology as a service is booming. Thanks largely to the app revolution that took the smartphone world by storm, software developers are getting involved in a number of interesting ways. Almost all the resources that businesses leverage on a daily basis from their antivirus software to their productivity suites to even the storage they use, are shifting to cloud-based subscription models. The point is to drive down costs and drive up value. With the right managed services provider at their sides, small businesses can now compete with their larger brethren as never before.
- Automation is about to change everything. Another major way that technology is rapidly changing the way things get done across industries can be summed up as: Automation or Artificial Intelligence (AI). Technologies has reached the point where a massive amount of work currently done by humans will soon be done by computers. In the software world, “artificial intelligence and machine learning will drive automation through the ability to make sense of large amounts of data, and predict with accuracy the appropriate outcome”. Ultimately, this level of intelligence and automation will enable our everyday applications to do a lot of heavy lifting for us across a wide range of industries.”
IT professionals are expected to come together and discuss how to improve the industry and create more jobs to develop African continent, what’s your take on this?
Africa already have a pool a IT professionals who are doing very well in their respective areas of expertise and most of them are already connected to each other and are already sharing knowledge and working on projects for Africa, I believe the African leaders need to adopt a digitalized aspects of doing things in African countries, this will enable the actual IT professionals to work on creative solutions for problems and thus develop more jobs in this sector, if you see other countries in the world they have all types of mobile application for problems that people face in their everyday life. But the case for many countries in Africa is not same, Internet connectivity is very expensive and many villages don’t even have neither internet nor learning facilities.
As a professional, how can you be professional in your profession? Tell us more
Professionalism is not something you learn from a book and apply to your life. Professionalism for me is: “Simply by maintaining a line between formal and informal relations”.
You are currently working with African Union. What are your major responsibilities in this role and how have you been able to inspire younger ones?
I was working with the African Union Commission (AUC) for a Unit under the Administration department. Being an IT Specialist under a youth program of the AUC, was a rich experience that taught me several things professionally, as well as culturally. Furthermore I became acquainted with the workings of big multi-national organizations and their dynamics.Mauritius: is one of the best African destination, how would you promote tourism via IT?
Yes, Mauritius is one among the best African Destinations. Mauritius has preserved its image as one of Africa’s few social and economic success stories, being a sugar and clothing exporter and a center for up market tourism. Mark Twain once said: “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and that heaven was copied after Mauritius.” Given that Mauritius is a highly educated country and ICT tools are being used massively by its people, promoting the Island beauties and opportunities can be done through many ways for both domestic and International tourism such as Social Medias which is the most popular, posting of reviews on trip advisors and international tourism websites as well as in Magazines.
Computers have become an essential part of everyone’s life and are used in every sector such as education, communication, business, entertainment, construction, medicine, defense and so on… how do you see the world in 2050 and beyond?
It is a fact that the world is evolving at a fast pace and in 30 years from now people will be more and more dependent to technologies. Like I mentioned above most of the human works will be performed by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Amazing memories are unforgettable; can u share with us most amazing memory?
It’s hard to recall all of my memories but my childhood memories are those which I will always remember and cherish. One of them was during the School holidays when I was at home and waiting to watch my favorite cartoons on TV, these cartoons have never grown old even after years when I re-watch them. They make me think of my childhood.
What do you like about African Culture?
What I like the most about this continent are the: African Arts, Clothing’s and Music. Africa has a rich tradition of arts and crafts. The rich and diverse African culture varies not only from one country to another, but within each country as well. The culture of each ethnic group centers on family and can be found in each group’s art, music and oral literature. Throughout Africa, people speak a variety of languages, practice numerous religions and reside in various types of dwellings. It has a vividness unique to it. It is mixed and most people have a sharing culture and participate in each other’s’ life. There is peace and harmony in most places.
ADM Team would want to visit you soon on tour to visit and explore Mauritius, hope you will support this cause?
The ADM Team are most welcome to Mauritius, Understanding the objective of this tour and sharing it with the Ministry of Tourism who can support with resources to the ADM Team, the tour will be an opportunity to market through ADM which will be in the best interest of the country.
Thanks for sharing with us.