Building a single digital market in Africa can lead to prosperous future

2023-03-30 15:36:26
Building a single digital market in Africa can lead to prosperous future

A single digital market across Africa will lower barriers to trade and communication. It will make the internet faster and more accessible.

Content and services, hosted on local data centers, will be cheaper to download because they won’t go through expensive international connections.

And better access to online communication, banking, or health care can make continent-wide connections with family and friends, businesses and lenders, doctors and patients easier.

Connections to neighboring countries, to regions, and to the entire continent are key to sparking economic growth, creating jobs, and moving Africa into the digital age.

Long term, the goals are ambitious: to create a single and secure digital market across Africa alongside free trade areas on the ground. To build regional links that eliminate roaming charges. To improve cross-border trade across the continent by creating the largest free-trade area in the world.

This kind of connectivity, both digital and at national borders, was one of the major themes at the 2023 Dakar Financing Summit held in February given that an objective of the African Union is to build a secured single digital market in Africa by 2030, an effort supported by the World Bank’s Digital Economy for Africa (DE4A) initiative.

These goals require large investments in broadband connectivity, secure data infrastructure, and the governmental and legal reforms that can spark competition.

Building digital and physical connections by eliminating barriers like broadband coverage gaps, digital illiteracy, and even red tape and paperwork at ports and land borders will allow people and businesses across Africa to reach bigger markets, build businesses, and create jobs.

Source: World Economic Forum


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