Countries realize that opening its doors for liberalisation isn’t the only thing that will help them sustain their economy in the longer run.

Instead, they need to focus on innovation, which will help them drive their economy forward. In fact, it was what other countries like the U.S. and the U.K. did years back, and their success is primarily because of it.

Africa, traditionally, has been lacking behind in that regard. Well, not any more. African countries are too realizing that if you want to do more today, you need to focus on a digital transformation. And that’s exactly what has been happening.

Africa has been the home of some of the earliest civilizations of the world and has a larger population than most of the countries. Yet there has been little advancement in various fields like economy, education and technology which still makes it one of the most deprived nations.

The Advent of Digital Revolution

But things are changing rapidly with the advent of smartphones. Irrespective of the slow growth in other spheres, Africa has one become one of the leading countries with most smartphone users. More than 73% population in the sub-Saharan nations now uses a smartphone.

Internet connectivity has remained a problem but the scene is changing fast.

In countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Morocco, 50% people have access to the internet.

Coupled with these developments we also have to account for the young technologically savvy generation who are growing up with smartphones, computers and the internet. Many people now are habituated with using mobile apps and internet for carrying out activities like booking flight tickets, making reservations and accessing different entertainment options.

What can the Digital transformation Change in Africa?

The growth of this population with the catalyst of internet is opening new doors for digital innovation in Africa. Many tech companies and startups have created their base in the region offering unique solutions. The new entrepreneurs are also showing promising interest on technology based products and using various technical solutions to conduct their business processes.

The digital revolution can impact many aspects in Africa which are still suffering from lack of infrastructure.

Education is a major area with children in different parts still not having access to primary education. The adult literacy rates are also way down compared to other countries. Using digital methods education can be brought within the reach of people in deprived areas and also help adult learners.

Healthcare is another industry which could receive a major transformation due to digital revolution. African can establish electronic medical records and other patient related resources which make care delivery more effective.

It can also help in knowledge creation and giving patients access to physician by booking appointments through internet.

Agriculture which forms the backbone of many sub-Saharan countries can receive a strong boost. Farmers can sell their products on digital platforms and access essential information like best farming practices and weather predictions to plan their cropping routines.

The digital industry is still in its nascent stage in Africa and presents immense opportunities of growth and innovation in this unchartered territory.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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