Africa in the Digital Economy: Update

Africa in the Digital Economy: Update

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11 Jun 2019

Author(s): John Stuart

The digital economy is now the economy. This refers to the permeation of digital technologies into practically all spheres of business, finance, trade, education and government. While Africa initially lagged behind the developing world in adopting technology and migrating commerce modes to the new digital forms, in the last several years Africa has taken several leaps forward.

This Trade Brief provides an update on the situation of Africa’s progress in assimilating into the global digital economy, addressing the most pressing current challenges and reviewing several of the most exciting current initiatives underway.

Although many challenges remain, much progress has been made over the space of a few years in the mid 2010s. The digital economy, and especially e-commerce, offer a means not only for greatly extending Africa’s trade with the rest of the world, but also trade within the continent. Never before have so many initiatives been in place with the goal of both digitalising Africa’s trade and bringing African markets closer together.


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