For Nigeria and other African countries to be resilient, innovative and achieve inclusive administration, their governments must embrace digitisation. This was suggested by a report by McKinsey and Partners. In its report, ‘Reopening and Reimagining Africa’, McKinsey, noted that governments would play a key role in fostering an enabling environment for digitisation, including ensuring that the regulatory and legislative environments support digitisation.
It is estimated that Africa’s public services could achieve yearly technology-related productivity gains of between $10 billion and $25 billion per year by 2025 through measures such as digitising the management of public records and using enterprise resource planning. Corroborating the report, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft 4Afrika, Ryno Rijnsburger, in a virtual meeting at the weekend, said while the private sector has an important role to play in this development, governments across Africa must enable digitisation not only through infrastructure development but also in digitising their systems and processes.
Rijnsburger said developments such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) reinforce the urgent need for governments to digitise to enable not just trade but also positive economic growth across the continent. He said governments can step up the provision of digital services and information, and utilise digital tools to collect, manage and use data to inform decision-making.
According to him, governments have moved decisively and speedily to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, putting aside ‘red tape’ to break down silos across agencies and encourage data sharing. Besides, he said digital technologies offered a chance to accelerate the pace of economic and social advancement, unlocking new pathways for rapid economic growth, innovation, job creation and access to services.