Digitization, the process of changing from analog to digital form has been steadily progressing in Africa for a couple of years now owing partly to the increase in ownership and access to ICT tools like phones, computers and the Internet.
The rise in giant telecommunication companies has led to increased mobile penetration upto ‘747 million SIM connections in sub-Saharan Africa, representing 75% of the population.’ This and other technological advancements must be harnessed by private and public sector with the support of governments across Africa.
Increased access to affordable and reliable technologies mean that, companies and institutions can utilize these technologies to deliver better services. The key areas of keen interest are;
When retail payments, for example, is shifted from the cumbersome and time-consuming analog to digital, the possibilities are endless. Think about the freedoms that a cashless society enjoys, Vis-à-vis the traditional physical carrying of cash and often needing one to move before transactions happen.
Digital Literacy Initiative (DLI) through a robust and carefully planned set of programs will contribute to the digitization of Africa by working closely with her partners to achieve their key-goals, as well as bridge the gap between governments and the public and private sectors.
Annually, the World Bank’s Doing Business report highlights the ease of doing business in different economies, with countries competing against each other to rank top. Countries in which Digitization has taken over analog in payment systems, and processes required to register and operate a business are simple, fast and efficient have a better chance of ranking favorably.
Digitization therefore, can project a country as favorable for business and as such attract investors. That, together with the internal impact on the economy of a nation should be motivation for various stakeholders to work together to Digitize Africa.
As that happens, there will be a rise in Africans who are innovative and adaptive to the current and future trends, increased virtual collaborations, better social intelligence, literacy in different types of media for various reasons, ability to work across various disciplines, and a data-driven and analytical thinking and approach to solutions for communities.
Digital Literacy Initiative (DLI) aims to be at the heart of this transformation by encouraging African economies to embrace and harness the power of digitization, put in place the necessary infrastructure and regulatory frameworks.