Digitalization and Business Growth
Fofou Fanny 11 Aug. 2023
Digitalization in Frontier Markets
Fofou Fanny 14 Aug. 2023
When it comes to digitalization, Frontier Markets are still decades away from Developed Countries and Emerging Markets level. One can argue that Frontier Markets faces challenges that the previous did not necessarily had to endure such as for lack of infrastructure, lack of funds to build the necessary infrastructure, predatory practices from company providing network services allowing the final consumer to access internet, etc.…
However, of all the reasons given stopping Frontier Markets from digitalizing at a fast speed, there is one that is never mentioned: the lack of willingness. This is not political but rather taking a pure business perspective. Have you ever wondered how many businesses located in areas with the right infrastructure have digitalized? How many still run their operations manually? What is stopping them from doing that? Is it that they don’t trust their data to be handled by strangers? Is it that they are not willing to get out of their comfort zone? Or is it about not finding the right technological partner to help and assist them throughout this journey?
Businesses not embracing digitalization are missing out on some great advantages of digitalizing (See our post ‘Digitalization and Business Growth’). Nevertheless, in Frontier Markets, it is up to the companies that have digitalized and technology companies to lead the way in order to increase the rate of digitalization within companies. Show those that are reluctant to why and how they did it and the fruits they are ripping from it.
Africa Digitalization Landscape
Fofou Fanny 17 Aug. 2023
In previous posts; Digitalization and Business Growth and Digitalization in Frontier Markets; it was highlighted why digitalisation is necessary although challenging to implement. Taking into consideration these challenges, a review will be carried out on the Africa Continent digitalisation in this series called Africa Digitalisation Landscape. The series will kick-off with the Central Africa region followed by East Africa, then West Africa. North Africa will then take suite and South Africa region will close out this series. The parameters we will be looking at are:
Africa Digitalisation Landscape: Central Africa (ECCAS)
Fofou Fanny 22 Aug. 2023
When it comes to digitalisation especially in Emerging and frontiers markets, not all countries do it at the same pace. In this series, we will explore digitalisation in Africa from one region to the other starting with the Central Africa. When we talk about regions we mean Regional Economic Communities as they generally aim to harmonize their objectives across the regions to foster economic growth. In the post we will explore the ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States), grouping as countries Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda and Sao Tome and Principe.
Although information about smartphone affordability could not be found for all countries of the ECCAS region, of the 6 countries where information was gathered, smartphones are still a luxury product in this region. When a smartphone cost represents the same weight in the income as the rent or even more, it means that they are not affordable.
Africa Digitalisation Landscape: West Africa (ECOWAS)
Fofou Fanny 3 Oct. 2023
We explored the digitalisation Landscape in Central Africa (ECCAS) where discrepancies amongst states were quite high. In this post, our attention is on West Africa, especially the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States). The ECOWAS comprises 15 countries which are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. For an objective comparison between regions later on, we will use the 4 key parameters defining digitalisation state.
When it comes to digitalisation, Qualified ICT manpower matters. Using the SCImago Institutions Rankings (SIR), let us figure out how well ECOWAS is doing in terms of training its population.
In most ECOWAS countries, phone costs represent 30% and above of the average monthly income. This makes the phone stand as a luxury product and not as an affordable item indispensable for digitalisation. This high smartphone cost can explain the low internet penetration as most people will not have the means to purchase it or it will not be a priority for them. In this sense, ECOWAS is not that different from the ECCAS region.