A report by Pathways for Prosperity shows that despite 80 percent of people in developing countries living under a cellular network, only 30 percent have ever used the internet.
Digital technologies present opportunities for developing nations to build new industries, deliver better services, improve markets, and enhance the livelihood of their citizens.
Speaking during the launch, Strive Masiyiwa Econet’s founder said, “Digital technologies offer powerful tools to grow businesses and nations, enabling entrepreneurs access markets and gives governments innovative ways to deliver better services.”
The report titled The Digital Roadmap: how developing countries can get ahead outlines 10 steps that nations can use to harness new technologies to deliver development to their citizens.
The Pathways for Prosperity Commission works to create conversations and to encourage the co-design of country-level solutions aimed at making frontier technologies work. The commission’s efforts are aimed at helping the world’s poorest and most marginalised men and women.
The panellists insisted on training on 21st-century skills to accommodate Africa’s growing labour force estimated to grow by 285 million from 2010-2030.
National Digital Compact
Furthermore, countries should develop a ‘National Digital Compact’ to guide digital transformation and navigate the impacts that technologies are having on their societies and economies.
Interestingly, the Pathways Commission reports that it has piloted the Digital Economy Toolkit in Ethiopia, Mongolia, and South Africa as a foundation for their national digital strategies.
For Kenya, implementation of the digital strategy will mean empowering citizens with digital skills, giving them access to digital platforms, and providing a social safety net for those whose livelihoods are disrupted by technological change.