Sahara Ventures 3 Pillars of Digitalization For African Countries.
Africa countries are making commitments to digitalize and to embrace the digital economy what are the best practices to do it? Quoting Prof. Benno Ndulu during the high-level workshop to reflect on the opportunities for digitalization in Tanzania, the former Governor said, “African countries need to adopt digitalization approach that works for them”. The digitalization process that addresses key issues facing our economies.
For the past two years, Sahara Ventures has been studying what digitalization approaches will work for Africa. We have gone through ideas, frameworks, and designs proposed by the like of the World Bank, World Economic Forum, The Next Einstein Program, Pathways Commission, Africa Telecom Union, etc. All these organizations have done impressive work to help African leaders and decisionmakers to understand the importance of digitalization and digital transformation in the continent.
Sahara Ventures 3 Pillars For Digitalization looks into three core issues that are critical for Africa to realize value from Digital Transformation; ability to accelerate economies, improving people’s livelihood, and strengthening leadership and governance structure. These three issues are key pillars of the framework.
The first pillar of the framework focuses on improving livelihood. How do we make digitalization and digital transformation an inclusive process? Digitalization in Africa won’t have an impact if it doesn’t address issues facing people at the grassroots level by addressing crucial sectors affecting the community. Sectors such as; education, health, agriculture, etc are very crucial in the digitalization process.
On strengthening governance, technology can play are very crucial role in bringing African governments crosser to the people “friendly government”, reducing bureaucracy, addressing inefficiencies, and tackle corruption. Digitalization is key to ensuring transparency and accountability in African governments.
After addressing issues facing people and improving the governance structure only then African government can be able to reap the benefits of the Digital Economy hence the third pillar, Accelerating Economy. To realize Digital Economy, digital technologies need to be integrated into everyday life at all levels of society.
To succeed with the 3 Pillars for digitalization there are five key enablers that need to be adopted or realized; Human Capital, Digital Infrastructure, Enabling Environment, Digital Platforms, and Electronic Governance. These five enablers are the foundation for success for digitalization in Africa.
The last piece of the puzzle is about nurturing the digitalization ecosystem. For digitalization to work Africa needs to build a strong digital ecosystem that encourages collaboration and partnerships between different players in the African digital ecosystem. Deliberate efforts need to be made to encourage CSOs/NGOs and Youth Networks to join the ecosystem to ensure the impact is delivered at the grassroots level.
Sahara Ventures is currently is working on 3 Pillars For Digitalization Canvas to help teams co-create and brainstorm about the pillars while working on their digitalization agenda. The PDF version of the pillars can be accessed here and for updates, on the canvas, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.