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Digital technology to foster Africa’s future economic growth

Monday October 19 2020
Digital pic

Last week saw the announcement of further good news relating to the Tanzanian economy. According to the Bank of Tanzania, the country’s economy is expected to grow at 5.5 per cent this year.

This follows other positive news from earlier in July when the country achieved the World Bank’s classification of a middle-income country, five years ahead of the initial timeline proposed by the government.

This – along with this week’s news on the country’s projected economic growth – shows that the country has reached an important milestone in its wider pathway to development. It is therefore important that we can continue to harness this momentum so that these benefits are shared across the country’s society.

There is growing discussion among many academics on the way in which African countries can achieve future economic growth.

A recent study from the Harvard Business Review s cited the way in which digital technology – including mobile internet, mobile-assisted apps and handsets – is becoming an increasingly important vehicle for helping this very goal. Specifically, their study notes that these services help to further economic opportunities, as well as broader financial inclusion.

To that end, it is important to remember the role that telecom companies play in achieving this. For a number of years, these companies have played an essential role in developing life-enhancing services, which have been enjoyed by their customers.

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Beyond this, companies such as Tigo Tanzania – have also been at the forefront of helping bridge the urban-rural technology gap, helping those living in remote areas access life enhancing mobile solutions such as Tigo Pesa, the company’s mobile money service.

More broadly, Tigo along with its competitors are responsible for employing thousands of people in a variety of jobs.

This includes service technicians, mobile money agents, as well as those working in stores. Collectively, therefore, it is not surprising that the GSMA has estimated that the mobile industry represents a major contributor to the economies of Sub-Saharan Africa. In its most recent report, for example, it noted that the sector contributed $155 billion in 2019.

As the country enters a new chapter in its path towards greater economic development, let us reflect on the ways in which telecoms can continue to contribute towards future achievements.

By focusing and investing in future infrastructure and services, telecoms companies can ensure that more people can benefit from the life-