Have you googled the words ‘digital economy’ recently?
It brings up over a half a billion pages – hundreds of millions more than if you were to google ‘Black Panther’ or even ‘Brexit’. The topic of digital is everywhere. Every Government is lining up to announce their ‘*insert country name* Digital Economy 2025’ agenda each with their own pillars to digitise existing and future services. Why?
Hype or substance?
4G is seen as a key driver of digitisation and with 5G moving ever nearer to mass deployment / commercialisation (a debate for another time) people are getting very excited about the possibilities Artificial Intelligence et al can also bring. In Sub-Saharan Africa however, despite the growing number of 4G network launches – now at 120 – 3G will remain the dominant technology across the region for the next few years. What does this mean for the digital revolution in Africa?
Well for start, consumer readiness is at an all-time high – Africa’s youth, where 60% of which are under the age of 30, see digital technology as a key resource for them. Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the fastest growing tech start up ecosystems globally, which in turn plays a huge role in the development of home-grown digital content and services. Investment too is rising and mobile operators are playing a bigger role in identifying new talent and solutions.
Of course, challenges remain in regards to infrastructure, digital skills gap and affordability, but there is significant momentum building from the ground up. It seems there is some substance to the hype.
Our survey says…
We recently ran a survey on twitter that asked the question, who will lead the digital revolution, the people or the technology?
Both are required for change but it seem those on the ground are speaking loudest. The survey closed with 58% voting in favour of the people.