With the strong economical revolution happening in Africa since the early 2000s, digital economy is more and more seen as a cornerstone for the African motion to emergence. According to many analysts, technology is still transforming all the African economy’s sectors.
Nowadays, it is the main motor for growth and competitivity, mainly thanks to Cloud computing and data analysis technologies. In Senegal for example, Orange is the first contributor for tax revenues, with more than 215 billions CFA in 2014. Which are the keys to such a performance in Africa? How working in the digital economy’s field can make you participate to the African boom?
1- The most innovative hubs are in Africa
With a special social and economical context, Africa has the most interesting digital evolution. Since 2000, digital technologies changes a lot, mainly in health systems and for mobile banking, but also in the agribusiness. With internet, technology positively impacts all human activities’ fields. Education, health, agriculture, knowledge sharing are considerately increasing, mainly with data treatment.
Even if they is no Silicon Valley yet, digital economy is investing in our countries to develop big startups’ hubs and to make them touching every single field. Some countries such as Cameroon, South Africa, Botswana, Morocco, Kenya or Ghana are becoming places where internet is the new key to touch the maximum amount of customers for business developers.
2- Added value’s creator
The more it is democratized, the more digital runs every economy and helps governments and companies to get more financial, human and technical values to add to their advantages. More and more, digital trade for example is being part of the population’s’ daily adventure, with companies that are financed by the capital-risk, a ‘patient capitalism’. In every group of startups created, there is at least one that is the rare pearl, with a very fast growth, strong enough to reinvest. That is why governments often invest in numeric parks. With knowledge acquired abroad, diaspora talents have a lot to do in order to develop the digital offer and to allow population to see how strong the said value is improving their lives.
3- Electronic banking, a development lever
The salvation of Africa is well in the digital and its multiple opportunities like the electronic banking which is a sub-sector where you have to think about how to draw resources for funding. For example, in West Africa, in a decade, the UEMOA GIM has raised as much money as some states. Thus, in the digital age, it is essential to popularize electronic banking and transform it into a pillar of banking. Indeed, the banking system is still complex and tedious for some people, so the electronic payment system comes as a suitable solution to accelerate the access of the bank to the populations, excluded from the system in the past.
4- Education will be more accessible for populations
Access to the digital means is now a whole part of the daily lives of the vast majority of Africans. The decline in the price of mobile terminals and the cost of communications has increased the penetration rate of mobile telephony from 5% in 2003 to 73% in 2014.
The African continent now has 650 million mobile phone holders (more than the United States and Europe combined) and 3G mobile networks are growing rapidly. Submarine cables linking Africa to fiber optics and recent plans for satellite connections are falling, and rural areas will soon be reached. Strong of all this, countries such as Ivory Coast, Niger and Senegal have developed major national programs that have used radio (school radios), then television (educational television), to promote basic education, improve teacher training, and even teach children directly.
5- A new way to make business
Since 2010, the widespread dissemination of mobile communication technology has transformed practices with easy access to every part of the African population. From a tool-centric approach, we move to an approach on content and use. These nomadic tools (especially tablets) offer important opportunities to deal with the shortage of classic business means. Also, the sending of SMS containing short lessons, MCQs or audio recordings also showed significant effects on stakeholders who have been tailored, with experience to the needs and capacities of African countries.
The digital tool is a strong and efficient tool for Africa, and the path this continent is taking is the good one for it to reach the development it has been looking for since independencies. If people are being formed to the technological use early enough, they will be able to have adequate means to reach their goals. Digital economy is not only adding economical and financial values to governments, but it is also preparing the populations for tomorrow’s challenges.
If ever finding a job in this field interests you, try cooptation websites such as Talent2Africa to find the right job according to your education and experiences.