Top 5 Reasons Why Nigeria Is a Leading Digital Economy in Africa

Written By Alla Levin
September 26, 2020
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Top 5 Reasons Why Nigeria Is a Leading Digital Economy in Africa

Nigeria’s ICT sector has expanded from less than one percent of GDP in 2001 to approximately 10 % of GDP today.

Nigeria has now South Africa has emerged as the leading investment destination with 55 strong tech hubs. A total of US$ 94.9 million was earned, while South Africa generated US$ 60.0 million with 59 successful start-ups.

The nation is also Africa’s main technology and accounting sector, 23 percent of internet usage in Africa with 122 million web users in December 2018. It also has the highest number of mobile users, with a teledensity of almost 90%. The majority of the population shifted to mobile data, to find out how to check Glo data balance is easier than ever now!

Nigeria’s technology industry is the outgrowth of Global Mobile Communications Systems. The method was implemented in Nigeria in August 2001, a few months after the formation of the Governmental Body for the Advancement of Information Technology (NITDA).

Almost 20 years after, nearly 100 years older. Millions of citizens have connections to cell phones, and Internet usage has grown to almost 50%. Cell phone and Internet access, together with urbanization and demographic development, providing an atmosphere for technological goods and Resources.

Nigeria ‘s technology industry has benefited from entrepreneurs coming to the nation to set up shop.  Nigerian e-commerce platform and one of the country’s first tech start-ups. Since then, software companies have been founded in the fields of electricity, agriculture, finance, transport, logistics, healthcare, and finances. Below are five reasons why Nigeria is the leading digital economy of Africa.

Digital Economy in Africa: Increased Digital InfrastructureDigital Economy in Africa

Despite possessing the largest mobile sector in sub-Saharan Africa backed by the robust broadband infrastructure and increased foreign connectivity, Nigeria has limited fixed broadband infrastructure and connectivity in rural areas, leaving a substantial number of the most vulnerable segments of the population lacking internet access.

Strengthen digital networks

Large public and private digital systems enable the development of digital resources and a competitive eCommerce network. However, millions of Nigerians do not have clear identity documents to navigate a variety of public and private facilities.

Increase access to digital financial services

Nearly 60 million Nigerian adults do not have access to a formal account, halting the country’s path towards financial inclusion. Whereas in other African markets, financial inclusion will largely be powered by providers of digital financial services (DFS), the enormous capacity of DFS remains untapped in Nigeria.

Improving the policy climate for digital entrepreneurship

Considering its huge, youthful, and ambitious population, digital entrepreneurship is yet to be completely explored, given its ability to become a driving force for economic development in Nigeria.

Close the information gap in technical expertise

The technologies and qualifications needed to utilize different types of modern technology remain restricted to a small portion of the population. Increases in higher education and the presence of open online training programs introduce technical abilities to all who are willing to use them. However, low enrolment in basic education and inadequate standard of schooling, combined with a shortage of technical curricula knowledge, is segmenting technology into a limited percentage of the population, removing the disadvantaged from the opportunities of the modern environment.

Nigeria Digital Economy Diagnostic believes that by developing digital access, digital technologies, digital financial services, and other main fields of digital growth, Nigeria will truly open up new business markets, build employment and change people’s lives.

“As the largest economy in Africa with one of the largest young people in the world, Nigeria is well placed on building a powerful digital economy that would have a transformational effect on the region,” said Isabel Neto, Senior Digital Development Specialist at the World Bank and co-author of the study. “Through innovation and investment, the Nigerian economy will exploit digital media and emerging technology, produce new material, connect individuals to markets and government resources, and build new, viable business models.”

The study assesses the status of the country’s digital economy on the five foundations of the Digital Economy for Africa (DE4A) initiative; digital networks, digital media, digital financial services, digital entrepreneurship, and digital skills – core elements of the digital economy.

Leading Digital Economy in Africa

The study also provides concrete, actionable suggestions to the government and stakeholders to further improve each foundation. DE4A is part of the World Bank Group’s support for the African Union Digital Transition for Africa, which aims to allow every African individual, company, and government to be digitally empowered by 2030.

In Nigeria, the digital economy is a core focus; as the study states, the government has taken several measures to improve the digital environment of the region. Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020 (ERGP) acknowledges the need for a digital strategy to render Nigeria’s economy more competitive in the 21st-century global economy.

In 2015, the Nigeria Telecom Commission initiated a shift from the industry to the digital economy by expenditure in digital technology and, more importantly, broadband, which is a core factor of the development of the digital economy.

Nigeria’s foreign connectivity is well established, and modern digital tools are open, such as the Online Portal for Government Services. Nigeria is still dedicated to basic education, including the provision of technical technology training, and host to a range of high-growth tech businesses.

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