Five Ways How High Tech Can Boost Economic Growth and Development in Africa

The ongoing digital revolution is transforming economies and driving innovation across all economic sectors. African countries and their leaders face the dual challenge of achieving economic growth and development targets while adapting to climate change.

For African countries to achieve their true potential, the people need to be empowered with the necessary digital competencies. They need access to digital tools and technologies while operating within a regulatory environment that protects their safety and interests. From education to telecommunications, the need of the hour is to transform all elements of the countries’ economy digitally, requiring innovative solutions.

Innovation on the continent has taken different forms thanks to the richness of culture and lifestyle of its many countries. While inclusive innovation can be viewed from the lens of many artisans and inventors, the tech sphere has proved to be a game-changer.

Hence, we shift the lens and understand people’s points of view regarding how technology can boost economic growth and development in Africa and how to develop cutting-edge solutions through appreciative inquiry.=

Revamping the education sector

It’s no secret that the education system in African countries needs a massive overhaul. Their educational sector is inadequate to serve the needs of a rapidly evolving world.

For significant progress to be made, revamping the entire curriculum at all levels is required. Digital and technical skills that are valuable in the digital economy must be taught.

Recognizing the dilemma, people have come forward to provide both digital access and educational opportunities to children. Technology has transformed educational accessibility in underserved communities by providing internet connectivity for that purpose.

Institutions are revolutionizing educational practices by establishing programs based on data. The teachers are equipped with tablets or smartphones. So, students’ and teachers’ performance can be monitored. Now, students can learn from improved educational programs at a low cost. All these efforts are collectively helping towards increasing development all around Africa.

Expand digital infrastructure

For technology to play any role in upskilling the African youth, the necessary infrastructure must be provided. This could be in the form of expanding broadband coverage and providing access to laptops where people can access these devices. Data connectivity is also a significant requirement. Most African countries have some of the highest data costs globally and are out of reach for most young people.

What’s more, the technology that solves a problem also contributes to the economy by providing jobs and injecting cash into outdated systems. More widely, it can revolutionize the way African populations engage with everything from healthcare to banking, transportation, and more.

Digitizing language to improve literacy levels

Communication is at the core of the development process. There are over 2000 languages spoken in Africa. Therefore, all the interactions noted within and between communities impact the continent’s economic, social, and cultural welfare.

Technology should also be a tool that enables one to master the use of information. Little to no information is available on real-time search trends in many African countries. The absence of data on search platforms for such information does not mean that it does not exist. This will enable the algorithm to pull out the information.

Communication beyond borders must be hard, so it is once again technology that will aid in bridging the gap. Once people master a commonly used language, they will have better opportunities and growth prospects, ultimately contributing to the continent’s economic growth.

Direct job creation

Countries like South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, and Egypt have been actively shedding the stereotype associated with them. With technology becoming more important, the ICT sector is, and is expected to remain, one of the largest employers. Computer and information technology jobs are expected to grow massively in the coming years. Naturally, the growth in different segments is uneven.

Similar is the case with countries in Africa. As a plethora of investors continues to get attracted to the continent, job opportunities have massively increased. An increase in job opportunities will lead to better economic growth.

Contribution to GDP growth

Tech talent in Africa is at a peak and continues to rise, according to several media reports. There are nearly 700,000 professional developers across Africa, with more than 50 percent concentrated in five key African markets: Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Findings from various countries confirm the positive effect of ICT on growth. For example, a 10% increase in broadband penetration is associated with a 1.4% increase in GDP growth in emerging markets. The Internet accounts for 3.4% of overall GDP in some economies. Once again, technology has emerged as a strong contender as it helps battle economic crises and enables Africa’s path to become an industrial hub.

Technological innovation solving systemic challenges

Advances in technology are increasingly enabling solutions to development challenges, and with 300 million more people coming online in Africa over the next five years, the possibilities are limitless. For example, digital finance can be used to address the barriers preventing nearly a billion African women from banking. This way, technology can tackle gender disparity.

Bottom line

It’s safe to conclude that technology offers African countries tremendous opportunities for growth, prosperity, and opportunity. As the world closely observes economic growth, the expectation continues to skyrocket for the African economies, which have been growing remarkably

About author


Techpreneur and polo enthusiast, Khalil Halilu, founded ShapShap and The CANs Park in Nigeria. After discovering his newly found love for technology and sustainable living, Khalil launched his passion project to provide West Africa’s first eco-friendly technological hub. Through his initiatives, he is providing a turning point and unique perspective to the African youth, motivating them to take charge of their lives. Khalil belonged to a small town in Nigeria called Kano and used to sell ice blocks. Khalil continues to launch many initiatives and eco-friendly programs to enable Nigeria to move forward.
Khalil Halilu
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