Digital adoption refers to incorporating new digital tools, modern-day technology, and innovative systems in your operations to improve work processes. In the past few years, digital adoption has been rapid in Africa but still, there is a long ride for many countries on the continent. The major role in promoting digital adoption is of governments and it is time that governments realize their role and play their part in accelerating digital adoption and bridging the digital divide. For this reason, we will be discussing a few ways by which governments can promote and accelerate digital adoption in Africa:
Invest In Infrastructure
One of the major barriers to digital adoption in Africa is poor infrastructure. The lack of reliable and affordable internet access is a major barrier that is preventing African citizens from embracing modern technology. Governments can play their role by investing in infrastructure and ensuring the development and maintenance of required infrastructure such as high-speed internet, broadband networks and data centers.
This will increase the internet penetration in the region and will improve the quality and reliability of the internet which is crucial for the promotion and adoption of modern-day technologies.
Promote Digital Literacy
Another barrier to digital adoption in Africa is the lack of digital literacy and digital skills. Although Africa has some very tech-savvy people who are constantly aware of what’s happening in the tech world, there are still many people who lack the necessary knowledge and skills to participate in the digital ecosystem.
This issue can be addressed by investing in digital training programs and initiatives that will promote digital literacy throughout the region and help people acquire the necessary skills required for the digital economy. Additionally, training and education on the use of modern-day digital technology can also be included in the curriculum so that children get to know about all of this from a very young age so that when they grow up, they can contribute to the digital economy in different ways such as developing programs like Scrabble Word Finder.
Promote Public-Private Partnerships
Digital adoption can also be accelerated by promoting public-private partnerships. In many countries around the world, public-private partnerships have played a major role in digital adoption. Through public-private partnerships, government organizations can work together with private businesses, organizations, and civil society organizations on various digital initiatives including providing training and education on the use of digital technologies, development, and implementation of digital services, promoting the startup culture, etc.
Promote Innovation And Entrepreneurship
If you were to do research on digital adoption in any country, there are two elements that you will find everywhere, innovation and entrepreneurship. Innovation and entrepreneurship are the key drivers of digital adoption and African governments can accelerate this by providing support to startups and small businesses, and promoting the startup culture.
Africa has a large, young population that is well-educated and tech-savvy so there isn’t a lack of innovative minds in the region but they lack funding due to which they have been able to make much progress. With support from governments in the form of funding, grants, and mentoring programs, young African entrepreneurs can accelerate digital adoption by introducing all sorts of new products and services in the market.
Promote The Use Of Local & Regional Languages
Another hurdle to digital adoption could be the fact that the use of regional and local languages is not so much when it comes to digital technology. Many individuals in Africa are not able to fully participate in the digital economy because they don’t know the dominant languages that are being used on the internet such as English, Spanish, French, etc.
This issue can be addressed by promoting the use of local languages in digital services, platforms, applications, programs, and even in games like Words With Friends. The availability of digital services, platforms, and tools in local languages would really help the locals get accustomed to them.
Review Laws And Regulations
Having a poor legal and regulatory environment is also a major barrier to digital adoption. A conducive legal and regulatory environment is the “sine qua non” for digital adoption. African governments can play their role in this regard by reviewing their laws and regulation and molding them according to digital processes. There could be many laws and regulations that could be inhibiting the growth of digital businesses or a hurdle in the way of digital adoption. This can include laws related to online data protection, digital intellectual property theft, e-commerce, online payments, etc.