In order for Africa to compete in the global economy, there needs to be transformation and elevation across many sectors. The information and communication technology (ICT) sector is one of the industries driven by change, and African countries have to adapt to the changes in order to elevate themselves/ How do we make this happen? In this article, we will discuss why funding is necessary in driving Africa’s digital transformation, how these investments help develop countries and shape economies, and the opportunities that lie in digital transformation.
Existing And New Challenges
By far, there are nearly 300 million African citizens that live more than 50km away from a fibre or cable broadband connection, which creates a hindrance for them to have access to high-speed internet. This means that Africa’s digital transformation was already a struggling sector. With the Covid-19 pandemic creating negative effects on many industries, the digital sector in Africa suffered even more.
The lack of qualified and skilled workers is one that the education sector is always addressing and investing in; however, many people end up being unemployed in those industries due to the lack of funding. Government, public and private sectors all have to invest in ensuring that there is sustainable infrastructure in place to help transform Africa into digitisation. Many benefits come with investing in upgrading Africa, and we will take a look at some.
Education Becomes In Demand
The more we invest in transforming Africa, the more we need skilled people. There are many African youths that are interested in careers in information and communication technology who lack the resources to pursue those careers. An investment from a tech or fintech company can help get African youth through schools and programmes that educate them on the ICT industry and open up a world of opportunities and knowledge about the different careers that exist in this sector.
Employment Becomes The Supply
From the educators teaching the youth in ICT courses to the construction workers building the internet towers, investing in upgrading Africa’s digital infrastructure will help create employment opportunities for the people who will benefit from the infrastructure itself. A lot of local regions in Africa are crippled with unemployment, meaning their economies are also affected. A poor region creates a poor country, which means investing in digital transformation means we create a whole new economy. Speaking of economy…
By now, you know many African countries are negatively affected by poverty. This and many other hindrances have created pain points such as child-headed homes, lack of access to quality education, crime, corruption, and so much more. Investments in the digital transformation will be helpful, however, will need to be managed wisely. It is no secret that Africa’s corruption woes go beyond regions and citizens; leaders and politicians are often to blame when countries do not have a well-performing GDE – rightfully so.
These investments should therefore be governed by accountability laws that make it almost impossible for any leaders and corporations to corrupt or embezzle. Choosing to involve citizens and hiring those that live in the areas we are servicing is also helpful in identifying the costs needed to cover digital transformation projects, and giving qualified and skilled people fair chances and remunerations to work in these projects will also ensure the investments are spent wisely. A well-performing region means a well-performing country.
As a development finance institution, we work to assist in bringing awareness and solutions to infrastructure planning and development and many other initiatives by providing loans to corporations looking to invest in these projects. We believe in giving Africa the necessary tools to drive its development because we understand how important and urgent it is.
While the public sector must retain leadership, accountability and oversight capabilities, the role of the private sector in the implementation of strategies is important. To get Africa to compete and survive in the digital world, we need to work together in investing in it with more than just funds. Together we can help the continent and create better ways to live.