Is Technology Africa’s Biggest Undiscovered Gold Mine?
Technology has the potential to fundamentally transform societies. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and broadband are becoming central to the societal developments around the world – enabling rapid improvements to industrial production and societal services, positively influencing the way we live and interact with our environment.
Africa is home to over a billion people and the population is expected to grow in the coming years. It is projected to grow from 17 percent in 2020 to 26 percent in 2050 and 39 percent by 2100 of the global population while the share of Asia will fall from 59 percent in 2020 to 55 percent in 2050 and 43 percent in 2100.
From IT News Africa. Story by Jenna Delport.
It is also a continent with the most growing economies and many from a low base; 9 of the 20 fastest growing in 2020 according to the IMF with rates above 6 percent of GDP (not adjusted for covid-19 effects). To accelerate its journey towards economic prosperity, the continent will have to take advantage of the new technologies to improve the government, business environment, and society.
Africa is rich in mineral resources. Deposits of copper, manganese, nickel, gold, lead, phosphate, platinum, etc abound. South Africa’s South Deep gold mine is the largest gold mine in the world by reserves. But the question is, what is the limit of support that natural resources can give Africa’s economic boom? There is an undiscovered gold mine and an immense untapped opportunity in ICT to enable Africa’s economic prosperity.
Africa has gone a long way in its digitization journey from mobile telephony to broadband – connecting and digitizing entire sectors economies, jobs, education, healthcare, government and societies. As digital infrastructures and interactions become increasingly central to the functioning of Africa’s societies and economies, affordable broadband access will need to be extended to billions of individuals.
ICT allows people, knowledge and devices to be connected in new ways, and African countries that embrace its potential can create new value, operate efficiently and benefit from a significant return on investment.
The current covid-19 restrictions have demonstrated the benefits and necessity of a digitized economy, facilitating working from home and homeschooling as examples. This could prove to be an opportunity for Africa to accelerate its journey towards raising the role digital and telecom services play in a socio-economical context.
Modernizing technological innovation towards the challenges countries are experiencing, will help Africa emerge from the economic challenges in a more sustainable manner.
Read more at IT News Africa.