Written by Tendai Nheta
As Africa is beginning to levitate towards the digitalisation, it is an obligation by the African governments to put structures that ease doing business on the continent. Institutional hurdles must be done away with, and poor infrastructure resolved to realise the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Now is the time to avail opportunities for young people, especially in the technology sector, Africa needs digital solutions to its traditional problems, very critical for economic growth in this 4IR era.
The future of young Africa is wrapped in a tightly knitted cacoon which would need unloosening for the sake of economic growth and gaining relevance on the global markets. The relationships with other economically high performing countries are commendable but to be able to be competitive, Africa needs to strip off the mask and face the realities of doing business in the digital era.
What is stopping Africa to operate amongst its member states, why is it so difficult for Africa to become the United States of Africa, all this is possible as long as we have satisfactory responses to these thought-provoking questions. We are headed towards the right direction as a continent; the political landscape is warming up to the idea of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) entered into force on 30 May 2019, this is a gem that could transform Africa to an economic giant if done correctly.
The question, however, is that “Is Africa ready?”, after the ratification processes there is an issue of execution, implementation and rolling out the programme, these processes will require every county that has ratified to work on their capacity to deliver. Adoption of digital technology in all logistical operations is critical; if not adopted, this will be detrimental to the whole operation and ultimately affecting trade.
Clear emphasis on the implication of this AfCFTA grand plan needs to be communicated effectively, and responsibilities of each country should be made clear, at the top of it all is the adoption of digital technology to enable the effectiveness of this plan for one Africa, a digital Africa.