Opinion

Digital Inspiration – Why Africa Should Take Cue From India

Digital Inspiration - cfamedia

Recently, Africa has witnessed tremendous growth, in the tech startup ecosystem, and it’s all thanks to how the continent is, slowly, waking up to grab and harness the power of technological innovations, to solve, some lingering problems that have bedeviled the continent and retarded its growth.

Irrespective of all the promises that, the African tech ecosystem shows, it is still inadequate and when placed on a global scale, it is still in its cradle stage, with a long way to go.

Between 2005 and 2018, there was a massive surge, in the usage of the internet in Africa, from 2.1% to 24.4%. Annual growth of 20%, also, followed.

To some extent, this is, a milestone, but a lot still needs to be done, for Africa to, finally, harness in full, the power of technology and that is why, getting a digital inspiration from India is, necessary at this point.

Mobile data is, still, a little bit, on the high side, in terms of cost, in Africa and broadband penetration and internet access is, still low, coupled with the fact that, the continent is, still, battling with poor infrastructure, which is, adversely, affecting the growth of the tech ecosystem in Africa.

Africans spend an estimated 9% of their average monthly earnings, (compared to 1.5% of the average monthly income in Asia and 3.5% in Latin American), to get 1GB of mobile data that will, only, last for some few hours, watching a low-quality video, (between 3 – 4 hours) and uploading a 1GB video, can take 3 hours.

In India, it is, another ball game altogether and recently, it was ranked, as having the third-largest start-up ecosystem, in the world. It has, also, been ranked, as the first in the provision of cheap mobile data, in the world and all this is, due to the tight and fierce competition, among telecom operators.

The availability of cheap data, fast internet connection and deep penetration of broadband, has accelerated the growth, of the country and the tech ecosystem in India, with a GDP growth of 7.0%, in 2018.

The tech ecosystem in India was able, to fetch in revenues, to the tune of $160 billion, in 2017. Export revenues stood at $99 billion and domestic revenue is, at $48 billion, growing by over 13%, reported NASSCOM.


Also read, Is Rural Digitisation The Next Big Thing In Africa?


Governments in Africa, especially, in Sub-Saharan Africa, need digital inspiration in order to have a framework of a working prototype, which, in turn will give verified ideas on how to access the issues that emanate, from a speed of fixed broadband penetration, as most countries in Africa, still fall below 10 Mbps.

In India, a supporting framework has been created, by the government and this has made it, so easy, for the corporate ventures, to play vital roles, in supporting companies and help fill in the funding gap. It, not only, helps fill the funding gap, but, also, plays vital roles, in supporting companies, from sharing manufacturing plants, to best business practices.

When it comes to digital skill acquisition and upskill, African governments and DFIs, need to be digitally inspired and look for models that encourage upskilling, as this is the future of work.

The Africa continent has a lot of potentials, with massive human resources and if it can be, effectively harnessed, like how the government and people of India, were able, to harness theirs, the African continent, will be better off.

At this stage, what the African continent need is something to look up to for digital inspiration and India just happens to be where the search light showed be beamed to.


Featured Image: downtoearth.org.in


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