African countries are now pushing ahead with a creation of digital economy, setting it as one of their policies, under the goal of building “Smart Africa”.
While establishing new institutions or posts which would take full charge of digital economy and formulating strategies for digital economy, many countries are making a creation of digital economy their national policies.
Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Guinea, Mali and several other countries are reforming their organizational structures by, inter alia, establishing new ministries which will be in charge of digital economy, creating new posts within the existing ministries to be mandated with managing digital economy or appointing special advisers.
Senegal adopted “Digital Strategy of Senegal” and is actively carrying the strategy forward, the target of which is to achieve 10% increase by 2025 of the share of digital sectors, such as e-commerce, e-financing, e-public health and e-farming, in gross domestic product.
And South Africa decided last year to formulate “Plan for Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa”, the core of which is creating digital economy, and has been directing nationwide attention, and Uganda is working to provide a legal framework for creating digital economy by enacting e-transaction, data protection and other relevant bills.
African countries are also putting efforts into building an integrated and smart Africa by increasing regional cooperation in their efforts for creating digital economy.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission stated in the statement delivered at the 32nd Assembly of Heads of State and Government of African Union that creating digital economy comes as the first and foremost task for integration of Africa.
Several countries including Guinea, Uganda and Congo have put forward the goal of turning them into the hub of information and communication technology of the region and are deepening inter-governmental and region-wide cooperation for creating digital economy.
At the same time, in line with a rapid increase in youth proportion of the population, African countries are also moving towards an organic combination of creation of digital economy and solution of unemployment by actively engaging youth population in the area of information technology.
African youth population is now 420 million, and it is projected to rise to 830 million by 2050.
Recently, the African Development Bank, in its report on economic prospect of the Central African countries, has expressed its willingness to concentrate on training the youth into the mainstay of digital economy.
Creating digital economy has an important significance in meeting the conditions for building an integrated Africa, such as diversifying the current economic structure yet heavily dependent on export of resources, addressing youth unemployment and creating a free trade zone.
We extend our support to the efforts of the African countries for building a more advanced and prosperous Africa through the creation of digital economy, and we wish every success in their efforts ahead.
Son Chol Hyok
Member of Korea-Africa Association