On the continent, we cannot talk about digital transformation without a mobile and fiber optic infrastructure capable of supporting it. The ITU, which predicts an increase in demand for telecoms service by 2025, calls on African nations to take the necessary measures.
In Africa, the quality of the telecoms network is well below the world average in the vast majority of countries on the continent. Although some nations stand out positively, like Mauritius, South Africa or Kenya, Portulans Institute and Sterlite Technologies Limited indicate in their report “THE NETWORK READINESS INDEX 2020: Accelerating Digital Transformation in a post- COVID Global Economy ”that there is still a lot of progress to be made.
They underline that “ when we compare the performances in the six regions by pillar, the fact remains that Europe is the group most ready for networks, while Africa is the least ready region. “. Indeed, of the four criteria retained in the report to judge the quality of the telecoms network: the technological level, access for the populations, the regulatory environment, the impact on the economy, Africa occupies the last place globally.
The Covid-19 – with the restrictions on movement or groupings it has caused – has contributed to the growth of several digital services in both the public and private sectors in Africa. The digital transformation that was passive on the continent for many years has accelerated in many countries. The World Bank, in its October 2020 “Africa Pulse” report, estimates that during lockdown, 25% of companies in sub-Saharan Africa have accelerated the use of digital technologies and increased investment in digital solutions. E-health, e-commerce, e-government are all segments that have recorded dynamism during the pandemic, increasing the pressure on the telecom networks.
In its report “ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE”, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) presents the telecoms network is an essential component of a country’s economy, facilitating the flow of goods, allowing exports and ensuring the provision of public services to the population. African countries have an interest in strengthening it so as not to miss the digital economy which could generate an income of $ 180 billion on the continent by 2025 according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Google.
|Country||African rank||Global ranking out of 130 countries||Network level out of 100|
Source: NRI 2020