The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the impact that digital innovations can have in resolving some of the most critical global challenges. Digital solutions have been the lifeblood that have helped many businesses and economies stay afloat in these times of crisis. In Africa the use of digital solutions is nothing new, indeed the continent is recognised for its utilisation of mobile-based payment systems including M-Pesa and many other innovations. Digital solutions have also been hailed by the African Union and other international bodies as critical for Africa’s development and growth.
As the world pivots into the digital economy, trends are showing that digital innovations will continue to play a key catalytic role in supporting not only post-pandemic recovery, but also sustainable growth and prosperity benefiting Africa and helping to support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Across many economies in Africa, digitisation has been used to leapfrog over traditional banking and landline telecoms infrastructure, helping businesses to innovate and scale up operations.
A recent SAIIA study titled “Digital Disruption in Africa – Mapping Innovations for the African Free Trade Area in Post COVID Times” (authored by Dr Alastair Tempest and Ms Michelle Chivunga) affirms that the rise in ecommerce, particularly with the onset of COVID, signals a strong foundation upon which to leverage the Fourth Industrial Revolution to support digitised inter-regional trade, large scale industrialisation and creation of a vibrant African economy: an economy that creates more jobs and opportunities for Africans to thrive on the continent.
The aim of this virtual conference is to discuss opportunities that exist to take advantage of digital innovations, particularly emergent tech solutions, to help the implementation of the AfCFTA. The high-level panellists will explore the impacts of COVID-19, digital disruption and how these dynamics impact on the aspirations of the AfCFTA. The conference offers a deep dive into the emerging technologies that are playing a role in supporting the transition post COVID to help spearhead the implementation of the AfCFTA.
- Read the occasional paper: Digital Disruption in Africa: Mapping Innovations for the AfCFTA in Post-COVID Times
- Presentation: Digitisation for AfCFTA /Africa Integration.
- Watch the event on YouTube: