Emerging trends from Africa’s digital platforms
Emerging trends from Africa’s digital platforms15 April, 2020 •
Africa is experiencing a wave of digital platform businesses emerging and few economic sectors are untouched by their influence.
Relying predominantly on mobile-app-based technology, digital platforms have an impact on livelihoods through matching supply and demand of goods and services, opening up new channels for employment and distributing additional value-added services (e.g. digital financial services) to consumers, workers and SMEs.
“Place-based” digital platforms, which mediate activities where there is close physical proximity between worker and consumer (such as the e-hailing platforms), provide a promising source of job creation for Africa’s large and informal labour force. Moreover, digital platforms have played a role in delivering essential goods to consumers as COVID-19 lockdown measures were implemented in key geographies in Africa.
This note builds on our previous landscape study of Africa’s digital platforms and is focused on trend insights on the nature and prevalence of digital platforms that are operating across eight focus countries in Africa, supplemented with insights on the scale of usage of platforms. In this note, we discuss key findings from the aggregate data and take a look at dynamics that are emerging by region.