Opinion

Is Rural Digitization, the next big thing in Africa?

Rural digitization - cfamedia

The continent of Africa appears to be attracting the big shots into it digital space as investors are jumping on its somewhat digital potential.

The amount of funding secured by African start-ups is an attestation to this fact.

Just early this year, Jumia got valued at over $1 billion on the New York Stock Exchange, putting it amongst the rank of the world’s unicorn start-ups.

As it stands Africa appears to be catching up with other continents in the growth of internet connections.

A rise in these numbers indicates that a significant amount of new users are joining the digital service.

The massive population of Africa itself is yet an unexplored pathway for technology.

With a continuous rise in the continent population, food generation is not enough for the massive population despite agriculture employing 60% of the continent’s population.

Digitization may just be the solution to address this and a number of other challenges.

A large number of the population in the agriculture sector is not in the young bracket who would have easily embraced the digital world.

Now that digitization is emerging and finding its way into every sector with agriculture inclusive, the young population of Africa with background knowledge in business, science, and technology would embrace digitization.

Various Agric tech start-ups around the continent are providing useful data and insights to farmers and this has assisted many farmers in improving access to the financial market.

All thanks to digitization, these services are made easy unlike in the past when this process was complex with limited resources.

Digitization has made these services available at a lower cost.

Potential investors in rural digitization appear to be showing confidence in what the African continent has to offer.

Some strategies have been identified to help the process of rural digitization in Africa.

Asides from participation from the private sectors, the role of the government cant are shoved aside, as there is a need for an enabling environment for entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector to have the assistance in the development of digital solution rural farmers would find useful.

Innovation hubs can get funded by the government to encourage more creativity in the technological innovation space.

Infrastructure is also needed to bridge the connection between the service provider of the digital product and the farmers in the rural community.

Power supply and access to affordable internet are a necessity for the improvement of rural digitization. Today the African continent is discussing the 5G narrative.

Affordable internet services and lowering the general costs of digital services can also go a long way in driving the rural digitisation agenda.

If the right structure is put in place coupled with government intervention, rural digitization would bring a huge investment opportunity in Africa.


Featured Image: digitalistmag


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