Technological transformations through digitization as well as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) are considered as quite critical in supporting the fast recovery of the African economies.
This assertion is contained in the Foresight Africa 2021 report published by African Growth Initiatives of the Brookings Institution, a non-profit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions.
According to the report:
- ”Digital transformation is arguably Africa’s biggest opportunity arising from the crisis.
- “During the pandemic, the continent has accelerated its adoption of ICTs: lockdown conditions have pushed many sectors to raise their online presence and expand their range of digital services, with developments that would ordinarily take years compressed into several months.
- “Significant opportunities remain for digital acceleration in key sectors, particularly government, education, retail trade, and finance.
- The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which also holds promise for accelerating the region’s economies through economic integration and a shift in focus toward high-productivity industrial activities commenced trading on January 1, 2021.
- “With the increased ease of intra-African trade, African businesses will be empowered to transform continent-wide needs into opportunities for entrepreneurship.”
What you should know
- From the hard lessons of the COVID-19, African leaders should prioritize scaling up investments in the physical and technological infrastructures needed as impetus for radical digital transformations.
- The workforce should be appropriately equipped with the requisite trainings to acquire relevant basic and advanced digital skills that would add values in their businesses, from mobile transactions to graphic design and coding, etc.
- Leaders should also encourage digital practices on the small-scale in order to encourage widespread usage of digital tools, as in countries like Kenya and Rwanda that have lowered their transaction charges in digital payments towards boosting adoption.
- Leaders should focus on policies and decisions that would have greater and long-lasting impacts, especially around technological adoption and effective implementation of the AfCFTA.