Digital Transformation in Africa

Africa is experiencing a digital boom in recent years. It has become particularly noticeable during the COVID-19 pandemic. New services, technologies, and platforms are changing the lives of millions of Africans.

RISS expert Daniel Shtopov analyses the new economic and social realities brought on to Sub-Saharan Africa by the digitalization and notes the bright prospects of the African market for Russian high-tech companies.

Summary:

  • Though Africa lacks the infrastructure, there is a fast-growing demand for mobile Internet services and it continues growing. Already more than 500 million Africans living in the most digitally advanced countries in the sub-Saharan region - Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, and South Africa - have access to the Internet. Thus, daily life in Africa is being gradually redefined by digital technologies.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the digital transformation in Africa in such economic sectors as banking, transportation, agriculture, and telecommunication. This trend appears likely to continue in the coming years.

  • Russian IT companies can provide the African market with competitive and high-quality products. However, Africa is regarded as a high-risk environment for doing business, that is why many Russian companies are reluctant to expand into sub-Saharan Africa, especially without relevant government assistance programs.
Africa economy Daniel Shtopov digital technologies