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Africa Needs to Harness Technological Advances to Enable Digital and Financial Inclusion

Not only does digitization have the power to drive socioeconomic growth but research reveals that even a one percent increase in electronic payments has the potential to grow a country’s GDP. The reality, however, is that digitization has yet to reach the majority of Africa’s citizens. In many rural communities, only a third of people are online. It is estimated that 45% of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa have no official form of identity. Many of those without an official identity are members of marginalized groups and children whose births have not been registered. What this means is that there are still large groups of Africa’s population that are yet to reap the benefits from the economic opportunities associated with digitization. To address persistent and widespread inequality we need an urgent rethink of current approaches to Africa’s digital divide because digital inclusion is an important part of achieving financial inclusion.