Weak digital economy hampers Nigeria, growth of others – W’Bank
The World Bank has advised Nigeria and other African countries to focus on digital development because too many of Africa’s expanding youth will be denied the opportunity to realize their potential with the current pace of economic and social progress. .
This was featured in a new report by the Washington-based bank titled “The Digital Economy Initiative for Africa”.
Digital technologies offer an opportunity to open up new avenues for rapid economic growth, innovation, job creation and access to services that would have been unimaginable just ten years ago.
Internet access, however, remains out of reach for most people on the continent, with only 22% saying they had access in 2017, according to the report.
“Too few citizens have digital IDs or transaction accounts, preventing them from accessing critical services and e-commerce. Digital startups are struggling to attract funding and ‘traditional’ businesses are only adopting slowly digital technologies and platforms to drive productivity and sales,” the report read in part.
The report also notes that few governments are strategically and systematically investing in the development of digital infrastructure, services, skills and entrepreneurship.
The report further reads in part: “To become the innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow, young Africans must be equipped with the digital skills and access to technology and markets that are essential to thrive. in an increasingly digitized global economy”.
“Governments need to find more agile and efficient ways to deliver services and interact with citizens. Companies must use digital-centric business models to connect with hundreds of millions of customers previously unreachable due to geography or low income.
He added that Africa has the opportunity to harness the digital economy as an engine for growth and innovation, but if it fails to bridge the digital divide, its economies risk isolation and stagnation.
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