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Scenarios for Africa's digital future

The scenarios for Africa's digital future aim to stimulate a discussion around the choices that decision-makers in Africa have to make in responding to forces and uncertainties that shape the continent’s digital economy.

The digital revolution is gaining
ground across Africa.

Will data and technology be governed in a manner
that contributes to the safety of the internet and
the wellbeing of people?

To what extent will the centralisation of the digital
economy shift the locus of power and
decision-making authority from Africa?

These are the key uncertainties that
will shape the future of Africans for the next 30 years

Key uncertainties

How do you prioritise educational funding in Africa when the youth population is estimated to increase by 42% over the next decade?

Force 01 |
A growing youth
demographic
UN population predictions: 2015 – 2050 0 2015 2025 2035 2045 2055 2065 2075 2085 2095 1 2 3 5 4 6 Billions of people Africa Europe North America Oceania Latin America/Carribean Asia
Source: UN Population Division, 2015

What skills will be required for
the Africans to respond to the
changing nature of work?

Force 02 |
The changing
nature of work
Africa’s exposure and capacity
to adapt to the future of jobs
Exposure to the changing nature of work Capacity to respond
Source: World Economic Forum, 2017

Who is responding?

Force 02 |
The changing
nature of work
Few Africans learning data-related skills via
online learning platforms like Coursera
  • 5%
  • 28%
  • 20%
  • 30%
  • 11%
Source: Internet Trends Report, 2018

How is connectivity changing the way Africans
access information and make use of products
and services?

Force 03 |
Increasing connectivity
Adults who used the internet to pay bills or buy something online in the past year

Linking connectivity and financial services:
Payments made online are increasing in Africa

Source: Findex, 2018

How can African e-commerce platforms
compete with the concentrated wealth
of tech giants?

Force 04 |
The rise of superplatforms
Top-five publicly traded companies by market cap*
The global economy is restructuring around digital.
*Green indicating techology companies
Source: Visual Capitalist, 2018

What are the climate change risks in
sub-Saharan Africa?

Force 05 |
Climate change
Climate change risks in sub-Saharan Africa

70% of people living in
poverty depend on
rain-fed agriculture.

Source: Oxfam
Force 05 |
Climate change
Climate change risks in sub-Saharan Africa

+2°C of warming may increase hunger up to 90%
over the next 30 years.

Source: Oxfam

What will Africa's future look like in 30 years?

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