African governments must digitise to be innovative
Tuesday, 05 18 2021, Category: Technology, Country: Africa
It’s been said before, but it bears repeating – the Covid-19 pandemic offers Africa the chance to leapfrog development through digitisation, and potentially position itself as a global digital powerhouse. And while the private sector has an important role to play in this development, governments across Africa have a critical role to play in enabling digitisation, through infrastructure development, but also in digitising their own systems and processes and by creating an enabling environment using regulatory and legal tools. Developments such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) reinforce the urgent need for governments to digitise to enable not just trade, but positive economic growth across the continent.
In its report Reopening and Reimagining Africa, McKinsey and Partners notes that governments will play a key role in fostering an enabling environment for digitisation, including ensuring that the regulatory and legislative environments support digitisation. Governments can step up the provision of digital services and information, and utilise digital tools to collect, manage and use data to inform decision-making. Governments have already moved decisively and speedily to respond to the Covid-19 crisis, putting aside ‘red tape’ to break down siloes across agencies and encourage data sharing to coordinate a central response to the pandemic, and this model could feature more prominently in the public sector going forward.