I am looking at a newspaper cut out on my desk, an advert for pre-qualification for supply of goods and services. The organisations seems interesting and I reckon if I submit my interest my chances of qualification are good. The deadline is a few hours away. The issue I have is that I have to print out the documentation, photocopy my proof of registration and tax compliance, get the document bound and enveloped then drive half way across town to drop it in a tender box.
If Malawi were not facing a fuel scarcity problem and if planet earth was not reeling from deforestation I would not have had a problem with the whole arrangement. But we do have these problems! Luckily there are ways to skirt around both issues – pdf and email! After all this is just an expression of interest, no technical or financial proposals involved. And even if they were involved then I can think of at least one way to get around the confidentiality part – passwords. As a techie it is all straight forward in my head, may be not as easy to implement on paper.
The gist of my argument? We, Malawians, need to realise that technology is here to help us get around some, if not most, problems we are encountering today. Skype instead of physical meetings, e-banking instead of issuing cheques, email delivered pdf’s instead of physical delivery. The list goes on. The technology is there, the costs have come down, the learning curve is not at all steep! There is more to the internet than just Facebook and BBM!