There have been further successes within countries in develop- ing online platforms, fostering growth of local companies and increasing the incentive to go online, says a new re- port launched Thursday by the Internet Society, a global non-pro t dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolu- tion and use of the Internet.
“Promoting the African Internet Economy” highlights how greater use of the Internet and digitisation of the tra- ditional economy will spur economic growth in Africa.
The report further examines Inter- net adoption and use by companies and governments throughout the re- gion, identifying barriers that must be overcome in order to create an Inter- net economy that delivers innovative services, job opportunities and income growth across the continent.
Both businesses and citizens can bene t from an Internet economy. Busi- nesses across all sectors gain access to a global marketplace of billions of people, and citizens in both rural and urban ar- eas bene t from enhanced educational and training opportunities and access to new job possibilities.
The report also outlines what needs to be done for Africa to take full advan- tage of the digital opportunity o ered by the Internet. It highlights local suc- cesses as well as broader challenges, o ering recommendations for policy makers in Africa to adopt.“The Internet economy presents a
major opportunity for Africa. However, Africa needs a secure and reliable In- ternet infrastructure that users trust in order to bringing large and small busi- nesses online, along with governments and other social services,” Dawit Bekele, the Africa region bureau director for In- ternet Society, said in a statement.
The Internet Society in collabora- tion with the African Union recently introduced Internet Infrastructure Se- curity Guidelines for Africa to help AU member states strengthen the security of their local Internet infrastructure through actions at a regional, national, ISP/operator and organizational level.
In Kenya, the Internet economy al- ready represents 3.6 per cent of the country’s GDP and in other developing countries 1.3 per cent of GDP comes from the Internet economy.
The McKinsey Global Institute pre- dicts that in addition to contributions to GDP, the Internet will deliver productiv- ity gains across Africa. These productiv- ity gains across six key sectors: nancial services, education, health, retail, agri- culture and government are projected to be valued at between $148 billion and $318 billion by 2025.
However, a thriving Internet econo- my in Africa could be put at risk by the increasing number of Internet shut- downs in the region.
In 2016 alone, there were at least 56 shutdowns of the Internet around the world. These shutdowns a ect indi- viduals and rms that depend on the Internet for their daily lives and have negative e ects on the economy.