- AfDB estimates the African digital wealth to expand from US$217 billion in 2022 to over US$1 trillion by 2031
- The digital economy fund is set to rise from US$115 billion in 2021 to US$712 billion by 2050
- In less than a year, the government of Kenya has already moved over 5084 of its services online.
AfDB estimates the digital wealth to expand from US$217 billion in 2022 to over US$1 trillion by 2031. The digital economy fund is set to rise from US$115 billion in 2021 to US$712 billion by 2050, statistics that have attracted African governments to venture into the industry. The choice to dive into the digital sector is fueled by Africa being the youngest continent in the world, with 70 per cent under the age of 30.
The high population and high unemployment rate provide a stage for the digital economy to fly off insanely. Recently, many youths have been making a living from content creation. Through the empowerment of the industry, African governments see an avenue to increase government revenue.
Dr Femi Adesina, AfDB President, said that expanding digital infrastructure by 10 per cent will increase annual GDP growth by 2.5 per cent. This will create over 44 million jobs, with over three million jobs in online services by 2025. Among the governments seeking to capitalize on the digital economy include Nigeria and Kenya.
Nigeria launches a US$618 million creatives fund.
In March this year, former Vice President Osinbanjo and the African Development Bank jointly launched a US$618 million fund titled the Investment in Digital Creatives Enterprises (I- DICE) programme. The initiative intends to create 25 million jobs by 2026, focusing on practical and high-impact solutions.
The funds already released to the I- DICE program stand at US$ 400 million, contrary to the figure mentioned. The fund has support from three international development financial institutions. African Development Bank provides US$170 million; the French development agency (US 116 million and the Islamic development bank (US 70 million). The local Bank of Industry Nigeria is providing US$45 million.
Ife Adebayo, Digital Innovation Consultant at the office of the Vice President, says that the program is still at the logistics level of planning and will soon be available to digital innovators. President Bola Tinubu pledged to create over one million jobs in the digital economy during his inaugural address. This commitment will tackle the high unemployment rate eating away at Nigeria’s young population, which stands at 41 per cent.
Kenyan government moves services online.
Since President William Ruto came to power in September last year, Kenya has generally been friendly to blockchain technology and the digital economy. In less than a year, the government has already moved over 5084 of its services online. On June 30, while launching the Equity Bank- government collaboration in offering government services said that the government will digitize all 10,000 of its services.
The Hustler Fund, President Ruto’s affordable online loan to Kenyans, has revolutionized blockchain technology’s possibilities. By March this year, Kenyans had already borrowed over Ksh22 billion, with a repayment rate of around 55 per cent.
The President has commended the young people in the country for the seamless transitions of government services online. Seeing the internet’s power, the Kenyan government has pledged to set up ICT hubs in all the 1450 wards in the country. The youths will access free internet and courses in those hubs.
Last month, the government added that digital creators would pay a 5% tax on their digital income. President Ruto, however, pledged to harmonize restrictions against content creators to allow them to easily create.
The future looks promising for the Kenyan digital economy. We will keep an eye on the status of crypto regulations in the country, considering most crypto events occur in the East African country.