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World Bank looks to Digital Transformation to Rebound Africa’s Stalled economic growth

The World Bank has recommended digital transformation for Sub-Sahara African countries as a way of overcoming subdued growth recorded for 2018.

According to the April 2019 issue of the Africa Pulse, a bi-annual analysis report of the African Economies, Economic growth in Sub Sahara Africa has been downgraded to 2.3% in 2018 from 2.5% recorded on 2017, remaining below the population growth of for the 4th consecutive year.

According to the report, Sub Sahara’s economic growth is expected to rebound to 2.8% in 2019, however this growth will still be below the 3% registered in 2015.

This staled growth is blamed on the fragility of most African economies resulting from insecurity, violence and climate change.

According to Albert Zeufack, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, most of the challenges facing these economies can be addressed by digital Transformation through improved access to the internet.

“Digital Transformation can increase growth by 2% points and reduce poverty by 1% point annually” Zeufack said on Monday during a telecasted press conference from Washington DC.

Currently only 27% of the population have access to Internet. However, Africa is still a global leader in mobile money transactions with 1 out 5 people in Africa having access to mobile money services.

“What African states need to do is to put in place better physical infrastructure to increase broadband connectivity. This will in the long run increase internet access and thereby reducing the cost of internet which is still way too high compared to the global costs. There is also need to improve regulatory frameworks to encourage competitiveness, investing in digital entrepreneurship and digital platforms among others” he said.

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According to the report, Eastern African Countries, that are less resource intensive like Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and some other west African countries like Ethiopia, Berlin, Cortdevoir experienced steady economic growth due to good economic monetary policies, strengthened government institutions, improved investment environment, improved rule of law among others while countries like Zambia, Liberia and South Africa experienced economic relapses due to high inflation inflation rates, elevated debt levels that negatively weighed on the investor’s sentiments.

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