Technology will lead Africa into the digital future


Organisations across Emerging Africa are investing in technology to fuel socio-economic growth and business success.

Innovation has been a key factor to sustaining some of our most vital sectors and the sheer speed and scale at which digital transformation took place and supported entire industries as they adapted has been remarkable. Technology took the spotlight; keeping businesses open, students in (virtual) classrooms, social lives connected, and essential services flowing.

We have learnt that a digital future will be a central pillar within our societal evolution. If harnessed effectively, tech will continue to lead global efforts to support recovery, playing a pivotal role in enabling governments to ‘build back better’ for the long-term.

As businesses across Emerging Africa design and implement recovery strategies, it is not surprising that there is real emphasis on technology, connectivity and bridging digital divides. Today, we are seeing the positive impact of digital transformation – with remote working, online education, digital banking services and tele-medicine becoming the norm. 

Countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Angola and more, have a high number of internet users, vibrant e-commerce ecosystems, large youth populations and diverse digital banking and financial inclusion policies. In order to drive growth across these sectors, it is crucial for government and businesses to harness the transformative power of ICT. 

Another key element is the potential of technology to make meaningful impact in education and skills development. As a growing number of students are exploring careers in computer science and machine learning, we are seeing a large, untapped pool of talent ready to pursue careers in ICT. 

In today’s always-on economy, businesses are under pressure to enhance their cybersecurity strategy. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2020 ranks cyber-attacks as the second greatest risk to businesses in the coming decade. As the tools of the Darknet become more sophisticated,  cyber-attacks are increasingly borderless. In cyber-security, new threats and vulnerabilities appear at break-neck speed, so, as new technologies create opportunities to innovate, we’re seeing more large-scale data loss and the rise of ransomware attacks. Business resiliency planning is key to survival.

Businesses need technologies that drive business continuity and collaboration. As a result, businesses may find that consumption and ‘as-a-service’ solutions on-premise will help – particularly with economics and the short turn-around they have been faced with. For example, ‘Virtual Desktop Infrastructure’ (VDI) provides secure, high-performance access for critical users while the ‘Hybrid Cloud’ can scale data-centre resources.

With the tremendous push for recovery and businesses to remain successful for the long-term, ICT will be a key driver of progress in accelerating the digital transformation agenda. It is simply a matter of choice – do organizations want to wait and fall behind, or do they want to be the digital disruptors of the future?

Mr Mahakian is Vice-President - Emerging Africa, Dell Technologies