Siemens has conducted an African Digitalisation Maturity Report to determine a digitalisation benchmark across four countries namely South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia as well as key vertical industries – transport, manufacturing and energy.
CEO Siemens Southern Africa, Sabine Dall’Omo, says the four countries were selected as some of the fastest growing economies in Africa, as well as having made great strides in ICT (Information and Communications Technology) adoption.
“Africa’s rapid urbanisation represents an immense opportunity for the extension of ICT and improvement of digital maturity to help urban hubs such as Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi and Addis Ababa cope with the influx of inhabitants,” says Dall’Omo.
“There is an opportunity for government as well as the private sector to roll out services for digital access and use, exactly as they do with traditional basic services and infrastructure,” she adds. “For us, digitalisation means using new technologies like data analytics, the cloud and the Internet of Things to merge the virtual and real worlds. This means faster time-to-market, greater flexibility and enhanced availability of products and systems for our customers.”
In Africa, the challenge lies in applying digitalisation in the context of various macro-economic factors such as regulation and infrastructure. The report measures the extent to which each country has a business, legal and regulatory environment that supports and protects the development of digitalisation in key industries.
While the larger and more developed economies tend to be more digitally mature the analysis shows there are many indicators that can influence a country’s ability to capitalise on digitalisation. The report’s key recommendations to accelerate digitalisation include:
• In an African context, disruptive technology drives development rather than disruption. Developed economy solutions are not necessarily going to work in more under-developed economies. In Africa, especially, true innovation comes from necessity.
• Globalised digitalisation – conventional global views of digitalisation are being re-imagined for local-fit. Advanced technologies offer the opportunity to solve great socio-economic problems and should be considered in Africa’s diverse and developing countries.
• Digital in Africa is poised to happen in small isolated areas unless governments drive overarching policies to ensure consistency of standards.
The full report is available upon request.
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