Beyond Recovery: tech’s role in building a fit-for-purpose East African economy  – Africa.com


SAP. by Hardeep Sound, Regional Sales Director for East Africa in

Nairobi, Kenya, 23 June 2022 –/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Following the easing of lockdown restrictions in East Africa, regional economies have worked hard to make up for lost ground and repair the economic damage caused by the pandemic. The past year has been marked by a concerted effort to recover.

However, as East Africa’s economic engine kicks back into gear, the important task of looking beyond immediate recovery toward long-term economic growth and prosperity takes center stage.

Today, the urgent question is: what can be invested in new tools, technologies and policies now to build a stronger and more equitable regional economy in the coming decade?

I would argue that the region could benefit the most from investments in youth skill development, adoption of cloud technologies to unlock market expansion opportunities, and a focus on the agriculture sector, which can provide employment and food security across East Africa. It is important for both.

Activating youth skill pool

Africa’s abundant and growing young population has been widely discussed as an opportunity for the continent to drive the world’s economic engine in the coming decades. With populations expected to decline in much of the developed world during the 21st century, Africa’s surplus of young talent can play an important role in preventing skill shortages and ensuring ongoing economic growth.

However, a lot of work needs to be done, and with urgency. A recent survey of tertiary education institutions in East Africa found that Only 58% agreed that digitization is financially supported at their institution, Only 53% of respondents in Kenya – and only 17% in Ethiopia – indicated that their students often or always have access to computers.

The growth of the digital economy and the automation of mundane tasks through technological innovation means that low-skill clerical tasks are increasingly being performed by machines and algorithms. For the youth of our region to have successful career opportunities that can help develop local economies, there is a need to place greater emphasis on digital skill development that prepares youth for high-value jobs.

Initiatives such as SAP Africa Code Week, which attracts millions of young people each year in a continent-wide effort to inspire a love for digital technologies and coding, play an important role at the grassroots level. Vitaly, Africa Code Week’s train-the-trainer program also equips teachers with valuable skills that can be transferred to youth throughout the academic year.

Graduate employability and skill development initiatives such as the Young Professionals program help bridge the gap between academic knowledge and business-ready skills. It serves the twin objective of providing career growth and employment opportunities for youth and ensuring a continuous supply of appropriate objective skills to public and private sector organisations.

Climate change raises stakes in food security

Agriculture is one of the continent’s most important economic sectors, Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 60% of jobs and 23% of GDP,

The data indicates a large reservoir of untapped potential in the African agriculture sector. McKinsey’s guess Continent could triple grain and grain production To add 20% to the global grain and grain supply with several major interventions. These include improving yields through improved use of fertilizers, weather data and technology as well as land expansion and reduction in post-harvest yield losses.

Investing in appropriate equipment, technologies and training can lead to macroeconomic development for both millions of smallholder farmers and their dependent communities, as well as local economies.

Given the growing impact of climate change on our continent, such support must be provided immediately. Recent figures show that Nearly 20 million people in East Africa face severe food insecurityA situation that will only be exacerbated if the changing climate highlights adverse weather conditions including floods, droughts, more severe weather, and wildcard events such as recent locust swarms that have fueled agricultural activity across large parts of the region. has been destroyed.

Tools like SAP Rural Sourcing Management can play a vital role in empowering smallholder farmers with better data and knowledge, while unlocking more market opportunities.

Rural Sourcing Management is a cloud-based supply chain management tool that connects smallholder farmers to the agricultural value chain and has been used to significant impact in the region, including deployments to support the Africa Cashew Initiative and the Uganda Coffee Farmers Coalition. is included.

Leapfrogging legacy underdevelopment

Much of Africa lacks legacy infrastructure development in technology and connectivity, with key technologies from the previous wave of innovation, such as fixed broadband, largely missed by the continent.

While this has stunted growth and development in some cases, it has also created an opportunity for public and private sector organizations to build infrastructure suitable for the purpose rather than reusing outdated technologies.

As the African Union notes in its Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa, The present moment offers an ‘opportunity to jump’ Where the continent can rapidly and seamlessly adopt modern digital technologies.

Such efforts should include a focus on cloud technologies, as these can more easily scale and enable expansion into new regions or market segments as enterprises grow.

The role of the continent’s specialist tech implementation companies cannot be overstated: as businesses increasingly look to unlock the benefits of the cloud, implementers act as partners and guides, allowing organizations to be unfair in their operations. Helps adopt new equipment and processes without disruption.

Initiatives such as RISE with SAP further ease adoption by providing organizations with tested models as well as best practice playbooks for deployment of cloud technologies that eliminate the trial and error associated with large-scale business transformation efforts. Huh.

distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) From SAP Africa.

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