The internet use in Africa (though still low) is gradually stepping up. Some countries have more access to it than others. In all, there are about 29% of online Africans. However Google estimates the use of the internet by 500 million people in Africa by 2020. This is a kindling hope for an African digital revolution.
Gradually more and more businesses are shaping up technologically. So it is not rocket science that the more Africans we have online, the more business opportunities the continent is open to, all things being equal. The World Economic Form defines information as “the currency of all economic activities.” The internet first makes information accessible. From there, knowledge is acquired. And as said, knowledge is power.
Exorbitant broadband charges is a factor that hinders internet access in most African nations. However if it is made a priority, the internet could take Africa up the ladder in the digital and economic world. With an African digital revolution, challenges like unemployment, poverty and other economic insecurities can be tackled.
These are the ways we can experience an African digital revolution:
The internet cum the digital world should be seen and rated as a potent infrastructure. The government and the private sectors should invest in the digital world as partners. That way there is a wider reach for people. The financial constraints can also be bridged. Policies that ensure equal accessibility to digital infrastructures should be put in place.
2. Advanced Connectivity
For an African digital revolution, there is need for advancement in the traditional connectivity modes. This goes beyond the normal communication. The digital world is a wealth of resources in itself. It has various branch-offs that one can explore- 3D printing, making of drones, artificial intelligence, robotics and other industrial applications. The 3D printing industry for instance is estimated to yield about $16 billion by 2018.
3. More Digital Training
Google has set the pace with a free digital training to last for a year in Africa. In the same way, African digital institutions should make training available to the people. Particularly, this can boost tech-entrepreneurship. It will be amazing if Africa digitizes the education patterns in schools.
4. Digitize Existing Businesses
As much as start-ups are encouraging for the economy, the existing ones need digital upgrading. By digitizing already existing enterprises, there is a general advancement in service delivery. That way the firms can meet up to the digital demands of the society both locally and internationally.
5. Digitize Trade Patterns
With the internet, trade has become a lot easier. Services are both rendered and received effectively. Incorporating digital innovations in Africa’s trade pattern is a sure way of fostering an African digital revolution.