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How can Africa create supportive environments for important innovations?
24. January 2017 10:55
Boosting transformational technology
Internet prices in sub-Saharan Africa vary wildly. Geography affects prices – landlocked countries pay more than coastal countries. Much of Africa gets its internet via undersea cables, so coastal countries have easier access. New initiatives to provide internet via low-orbit satellites and high-altitude balloons offer the hope of more accessible, cheaper internet for all, though still have a long way to go when it comes to cost and reach.
Tech hubs are popping up in Africa in different forms. These hubs enable Africans to gain skills and network through brainstorming sessions, workshops, and business- and technology-related trainings, among others. South Africa, Kenya and Ghana boast the greatest number of tech hubs.
For further progress and increased uptake of transformative innovations in 2017 what is required is further improvement in the regulatory environment.
Rules and guidelines should encourage prudent behaviour by both the financial institutions and market participants. Regulators should manage the orderly entry and exit of financial institutions in the market, minimising the potential for major disruptions in the financial system.
Digital finance has the potential to provide access to financial services for 1.6 billion people - more than half of whom are women - in emerging and developing economies.
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