Digital transformation key to unlocking new pathways – World Bank

Albert Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for Africa

As government is keen on making the country more efficient through information technology, the World Bank has indicated that the digital transformation will unlock new pathways for inclusive growth.

This is expected to ensure innovation, job creation, service delivery, and poverty reduction.

At a video conference for the launch of the Africa Pulse report for sub-Saharan Africa on Monday, the World Bank Chief Economist for Africa, Albert Zeufack said, “the digital transformation can increase growth by nearly two percentage points per year and reduce poverty by nearly one percentage point per year in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.”

When paired with stronger investments in human capital, impacts across the African continent can be more than doubled: 3.8 to 4 percentage points of growth and 1.9 to 2 percentage points’ poverty reduction per year.

While Africa has made great strides in mobile connectivity, the continent lags the rest of the world in access to broadband, Zeufack said, adding that the continent still has a long way to go.

Across the entire African continent, including sub-Saharan and North Africa, the digital transformation could increase growth per capita by 1.5 percentage points per year and reduce the poverty headcount by 0.7 percentage points per year.

The benefits of the digital transformation in sub-Saharan Africa are even higher: it can Increase growth by nearly two percentage points per year and reduce poverty by nearly one percentage point per year.

The digital economy will create more jobs, encourage entrepreneurship for youth, raise productivity of farmers, bring more women into the labor force, and create new markets all of which boosts growth.

“For those growth dividends to materialize, it is critical to create much-needed digital infrastructure; the right regulatory frameworks in place; to invest in skills that allow workers, entrepreneurs and government officials to seize opportunities in the digital World; and to build accountable institutions that use the internet to empower citizens.”

By Joshua W. Amlanu