How can digital technology boost growth in Africa?

The digitalisation of the economy offers a huge leapfrogging opportunity to Africa, as the continent bypasses older technology to immediately embrace the new. This was the starting point of a World Economic Forum on Africa discussion on the economic potential of digital technology, held on 11 May 2016.

digital economy articleFrom left, Siyabonga Cwele, Tobias Becker, Elizabeth Migwalla, Pascal Lamy and Charles Muritu discuss technology and economic growth in Africa at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, on 11 May 2016. (Image: WEF Flickr)

How, the panellists were asked, can this economic potential be unleashed?

The session was moderated by Pascal Lamy, political consultant, businessman and former director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

The other speakers were South African Minister of Telecommunications Siyabonga Cwele; Charles Muritu, the head of African telecoms and strategic partnerships at Google; Elizabeth Migwalla, senior director of government affairs at Qualcomm; Tobias Becker, senior vice president and director for Africa at ABB Ltd; and Cote d’Ivoire government spokesperson Bruno Nabagne Kone.

In discussing how technology can transform Africa’s digital marketplace, the panel examined the fostering of online entrepreneurs, enabling cross-border data exchange, and overcoming traditional barriers to trade.

Watch the full session: