ICT has in recent years emerged as the support for change and growth in both public and private sectors of many of the world’s economies.
Approximately 28.6% of Africa’s 1.1 billion population is now able to go online, using their cellphones or computers, as per Internet World Stats. Unreliable and expensive postal and telephonic services are quickly becoming artefacts of the past. Rather than physically reporting an issue or making a complaint to a government department, it is now increasingly possible to do so via the internet: through a website, social media or an app.
Organizations that have embraced IT from a strategic approach have reaped big benefits evidenced by the scaling up of the markets, ease of innovation and automation. According to Tech Moran Africa, as the newest emerging economy has its share of opportunities signaled by IT and is continuing to roll out many of its enterprises on the platform of technology.
Many African countries need to take full advantage of the potential offered by information and communications technologies (ICTs) to drive social and economic transformation, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2015 (GITR). Several African countries have dropped in terms of the report’s Networked Readiness Index ranking.
With political will and commitment from the private sector, progress can be made in bringing the benefit of ICTs to more people. We are already facing the next wave of the Internet – the Internet of Everything (IoE) –Africa needs to prioritise ICT development if it is to benefit from the new experiences and efficiencies that the IoE will bring.