Can technology be the driving force behind Africa’s development?

By Dumisani Moyo, Internet marketing Director, SAP Africa.

The thirty day period of May well is significant for the African continent for the reason that it is through this thirty day period that we celebrate Africa Working day.

Africa Day commemorates the development of the African Union on May perhaps 25, 1963.

It is a day when Africans rejoice the continent’s independence, flexibility, and liberation from colonialism.

Reflecting on the importance of Africa Day, we have accomplished a lot in terms of colonial liberation, but a lot perform remains to be completed in obtaining liberation from persistent worries these as poverty, inequality, and unemployment that continue to plague the African continent.

I am fortuitous to work in the dynamic and lively technological know-how place, supporting a huge range of organizations in several industries, together with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the African continent.

A popular realisation in my travels and interactions with company leaders has been the massive alternatives that the African continent possesses.

According to the United Nations, Africa has a population of 1.1 billion folks, which is about equivalent to the blended populations of Europe and North The us.

A useful resource-rich continent of youthful probable

Africa’s youthful populace is predicted to develop to 1.4 billion by the year 2030 and 2.1 billion by 2050.

Roughly 70% of Africans are under the age of 30, when compared to Europe in which populations are growing older and declining.

This younger population delivers great alternatives for financial progress and innovation, but only if they are seized.

Other worthwhile means are also waiting to be unlocked

United Nations knowledge signifies that Africa has 30% of the world’s mineral resources and 65% of the planet’s arable agricultural land.

South Africa, for example, holds 90% of the world’s platinum reserves, though Nigeria and Libya are among the major ten international locations with the premier oil reserves.

Africa also has the premier cobalt reserves, with the Democratic Republic of Congo accounting for more than two-thirds of world-wide supplies.

As the earth transitions to green power resources, cobalt has develop into a strategic useful resource, especially in the automotive and electricity era industries.

In specific types of innovation, Africa also prospects the world

In accordance to a BCG research into mobile payment banking, Kenya and Ghana have the 2nd and third best mobile payment usage following China, demonstrating Africa’s huge likely.

Mobile transactions account for 87% of Kenya’s GDP and 82% in Ghana.

To set this in context, the African cellular payment market could have 850 million prospects by 2025, which is 100 million much more than Europe’s full populace.

The large issue is why, regardless of a huge youthful inhabitants and mineral useful resource wealth, does Africa carry on to trail the relaxation of the planet in its progress?

Tech-enabled SMEs could power the continent’s development

1 of the solutions to driving Africa’s economic development could lie in the compact and medium organization (SME) sector.

SMEs have the probable to support growth by creating employment and driving economic growth.

The burning dilemma is: why are African SMEs so gradual to adopt and leverage technological know-how?

African businesses – and SMEs in specific – deal with sizeable worries that consist of lack of access to funds, specialised skills, uncooked supplies, and markets.

A deficiency of adoption of new systems is producing numerous concerns for Africa’s SME sector, ranging from weak arranging, a deficiency of forecasting functionality, and deficiency of potential to leverage the efficiency gains of artificial intelligence and machine studying.

These challenges should be resolved if we are to unleash the subsequent technology of African small business results stories.

While technologies is not the only remedy to the query of constructing environment-course aggressive African corporations, it is a person of the most obtainable methods to lots of of the difficulties that organizations confront.

Returning to the mobile payment banking example, this innovation was the consequence of a clever use of know-how to address a fundamental obstacle in both Kenya and Ghana: a lack of banking infrastructure.

Digital supply chains and organization network solutions could unlock accessibility to new marketplaces for raw resources or finished merchandise.

Ground breaking use of technology – like what we’ve found with cellular banking – could fix rapid worries stunting SMEs’ expansion and unlock a new wave of innovation throughout the continent.

Even nevertheless Africa continues to facial area a lot of and complicated worries, there is no denying that the continent is brimming with prospects.

The time is now for African enterprises to leverage know-how as a strategic resource to gas innovation and advancement.

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