Digital Transformation Africa: Impact of COVID-19

Digital transformation Africa. The rise of COVID-19 made big impacts on the digital transformation on the African continent. In what way?

With the rise of COVID-19, the need for digital transformation became more urgent.

Whether it be the need for a tool to lessen the spread of the virus. Or to ensure businesses, education, and crucial daily activities and needs continues.

And no continent on this planet is exempt. That is why Africa is taking steps for its digital transformation. But, they are facing challenges.

As the African continent is facing a “digital divide“. With only 28% of its people using or having access to the internet.

What is this digital divide? And what is the digital transformation they are doing to solve this issue? Let’s see more in this article.

Digital Transformation Africa: Digital Divide

Digital techs and connectivity has been vital in this pandemic. This is so that work, education, and other areas continue by virtual engagements.

But, to solve this, the African continent must also solve other challenges. Such as:

  • electricity
  • internet connectivity
  • internet regulations
  • high internet costs
  • the population’s ability to use digital solutions

Digital Transformation Africa: Impact of COVID-19

The pandemic made more African people see the weight of the problems listed above. Also, they are seeing the rising need for digital technology in the continent.

This is so they can respond fast to crises and can plan effective recovery.

And for other sectors to function.

For example, those in developed countries find it easier to shift to e-learning. But students in Congo have no alternative way of learning. 

And the solution made was only the closure of schools. With students not having the devices, internet connection, and digital skills to shift to e-learning.

Some do not even have access to electricity. And those that can connect to the internet can’t use it that much because of the high cost of internet data.

So, what are they doing to solve this? And what are the steps they are taking for digital transformation?

Digital Solutions to the Pandemic

Even with these challenges, the ICT sector in Africa has grown. With the birth of startups, incubators, and ICT activities in the continent.

Also, young Africans have been active in helping solve the issues caused by the pandemic. More and more are making digital solutions using different technologies.

Then, local authorities and African startups and making different solutions such as:

  • Chatbots via Facebook or WhatsApp with the Ministry of Health. This is to help fight against fake news about the pandemic.
  • Apps to track people on public transport.
  • COVID-19 tracking apps that can use GPS and Bluetooth. This can track a positive person’s activities for the last 14 days. Then, notifies those people they have contacted on those days with a text.

But are these efforts enough?

COVID-19 to Boost Digital Transformation in Africa

With all these efforts, most Africans think this is not enough. The digital divide is too big to solve in one go.

Thus, this pandemic became an eye-opener. And more and more companies are dealing with the most basic problems.

We’ll see more about the digital transformation in Africa as this pandemic continues.

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