Stumbling on the Path of Sustainable Digital Revolution in Africa


Africa is known to be the fastest-growing region for internet penetration between 2000-2018. The continent young individuals are the most users of mobile technology. Currently, the continent average penetration rate is about 9,941% which is far above 1,052% global rate. The digital revolution in the continent goes beyond acquiring smartphones by a large population. The top three digital revolution drivers in Africa are agricultural sector, mobile banking, and healthcare.  The above industries are using modern technology to mitigate problems facing the continent.  A good example is drove deliveries in Tanzania and Rwanda.  According to Economists projection, digital economy is supposed to generate more than a quarter of global GDP by 2020. The continent resent trend indicates that most countries are missing the track due some factors. The core problems are Africa cybercrime, internet access and government resistance to internet freedom.

Resistance by a majority of Africa countries to allow internet freedom is one of the greatest digital revolution threats. Despite the positive impact of the internet on the continent economy, politicians, journalists and members of the public are constantly detained. This occurs when they use the internet to express their opinion via online platforms. As the tradition has it, internet freedom is purposively predestined to those who speak ill about the government.  The digital revolution in these countries will just be a myth if they persist to resist internet freedom.

In spite of the rapid increase of smartphone holders in Africa, internet access across the continent is still very low. Successful startups histories originate from wide application of internet by both low and middle-income entrepreneurs in the society. For instance, Internet adoption had enabled huge economic growth for Grab Company.  The company is now focusing on micro-loan expansion after buying Southeast Asia business (Ubers). Internet adoption is very crucial for digital revolution to all sectors in order to improve the lives of Africans.

The paradox in Africa is that has the number of internet access increase, the higher the cases related to cyber crimes.  Government policies and agencies lack suitable model to solve cyber crimes which thwarts national securities. For example, in the year 2016 alone, Africa lost an estimated $2 billion to cybercrime. Nigeria contributed over $550 million of the total loss in the same period. The continent residents are at risk of financial cybercrime, mass surveillance, malware intrusions and phishing attacks. Best tools to address this menace are personal security and data protection campaigns. Reports have it that only 20% of Africa countries implement cybercrime legal frameworks which are below technological advancement.


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Written by Denis Opudo

Am an engineer who's a tech blogger, hit me up on [email protected] and we base our discussion on technology in Africa and the rest of the world.
Denis the Tech guru

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