by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – AFRICAN countries are realising the benefits of digital transformation and have set it as a national priority.
Among these are Botswana, the Southern African nation and Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy.
Huawei, the Chinese-headquartered global technology company, is key player in these countries’ transformation.
Botswana has developed a digital transformation strategy – SmartBots- to deliver government services.
Thulaganyo Merafe Segokgo, Botswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications, said implementations of these programmes continued to help the government develop into a knowledge-based economy.
“There is the opportunity for accelerated growth with the right investments,” he added.
Segokgo pointed out that partnerships with private companies, such as Huawei, were crucial to achieving the growth.
Joe Mucheru, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications, said Kenya intends to maintain the momentum and speed up the development of the digital economy.
“We believe we can address the critical issues needed to enable a digital economy,” he added.
Mucheru said the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta strongly believed in partnership with the private sector.
“Going forward, we will be focusing more on driving innovation at the grassroots level,” he said.
The government officials were speaking at the Digital Africa Summit, Huawei Technologies hosted at the AfricaCom.
Expert speakers engaged on Africa’s digital transformation, the strides made during the COVID-19 pandemic and the path still ahead.
Yang Chen, Vice President, Huawei Southern Africa, pointed out the digital economy already accounted for more than 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in some African countries.
He said that number could be more than doubled in countries that take a committed approach to digital transformation.
“Digitalisation spurs the development of new industries such as ecommerce and eGovernment,” Chen said.
“It also disrupts existing industries to ensure lower costs and higher productivity and can empower emerging technologies like renewable energy. Digital technologies also increase economic resilience against shocks like COVID-19,” he added.
The annual AfricaCom was held virtually amid the COVID-19.
– CAJ News