Digitization of African Economies: Three Transformation Timelines

Feature Article Digitization of African Economies: Three Transformation Timelines
JUL 5, 2022 LISTEN

Why is a Digital-Divide a Mental-Divide? Across African economies, in already connected cities and towns with access to Internet digital transformation of SME to ride digital platforms still appears an impossible task. In some cases, a decade is wasted. Mental Divide is when fears and trepidations of digitalization prohibit progress.

How can there be light? Like turning a light switch, economies without digitization are as if without electricity, without upskilled frontline teams as if without a bulb. Despite Internet technologies resistant to change, hurting economic progress, jobs, and exports and missing opportunities.

Bringing the world closer and mindsets together: Today, the zoomerang culture of virtual meeting is already a great start to bring global awareness and to make trade exports and manufacturing easier once ideas exchanged, better products designed and fast deals made in newly opened global markets…

The transformation timelines:
It takes 10 days to firm-up policies to start a SME sector digitization program.
It takes 100 days to mobilize and place 1000 to 100,000 SME on digital platforms.
It takes 1000 days to have a bouncing economic development and global activities.

The mental preparedness timelines:
It takes 1000 days to become a top class economic development game player.
It takes 100 days for deep immersion to become champion on digital transformations.
It takes 10 days of intense workshops to articulate of such senior level discussions

The economic effect on the national SME base:
It takes 10 days to structure digital formats for SME sectors  in desired regions.
It takes 100 days to uplift 10K to 100K SME and profile them on digital platforms.
It takes 1000 days to quadruple their exportability and upskilling as a new game changer.

Think digitally; A deeper study of other nations is now necessary and an overview of future growth is mandatory. This is all about understanding and appreciating how digitization works, improves productivity and increases profitability. This is all about thinking digitally, this is a new time machine and not about watching the local clock tower, this is about global-age speed. A loss of just one-single-day adds many zeros to national economic performances. The world waits for no one.

New thinking is very offensive: Old routines will always keep you in the same place. Change is difficult, new thinking is very offensive and economic development is now a business revolution in need of brave economic warriors. No proof required. If your departments always did what they have always done, your economy is only sliding backwards. If you are going for rapid recovery, change will only occur when there is change of mind, transformation will only happen, when there is change of heart. Mastery on mobilization of hidden national talent is a new art and science to survive. Therefore, learn fast, fail fast, acquire mastery, but fast. Study Expothon Africa…

The future of fluid business: When was the best time to digitize…it was a decade ago. Late comers now harshly punished. For many centuries, the idea of a business was to become monolithically spiraled in a downtown tower, today an invisible team scattered across a city, nation or world, humming and blinking independently running a global organization is a new power. Future is about digitally connected fluid organizations.

There is new math; a typical USD$1000 dollars buys today what was only available a decade ago in technology for USD$1,000,000 dollars. These double edge swords need warrior’s hands, as the costs fell to the earth the global competition rose to the sky. It will take intense immersion to understand such demands on skills and global age appreciation for African Nations.

Warm facts and cold realities;  50% of the downtowns of the world may not survive, 50% of office towers may go empty, 50% of office workers may work remote, 50% retail shops of major cities may not survive, 50% economies may lose a full  decade during recovery. This is a new world, a stage for new warriors, as unlimited opportunism emerges amongst the chaos.

G20 & COP27: What will the next G20 add to the main agenda, what will COP27 highlight on SME Entrepreneurialism to create a Green Economy?  Why are there not yet open umbrella discussions on such global calamity?

The Cabinet: The more we focus on upskilling exporters and reskilling manufacturers the skilled citizenry will create a balanced economy… digitization is critically essential and national mobilization of entrepreneurialism creates the required national dynamics. Nothing happens when silence dominates, as achievements of extraordinary heights demand deeper foundations as piling up dirt creates neither a mountain nor just holding water a dam.  Unless such topics discussed at Cabinet Level with authoritative narratives little progress or nothing major will happen. Why is Africa in time…?

The transformation: Those who handle paper trails are clerks, those who execute paper trails are executives, those who eliminate paper trails are digitalists, those who guide digitalists are global age thinkers, those who watch global age thinkers are modern slaves, those who replicate modern slaves are our new robots, and those who ride progressive changes are the new masters...

If such topics not discussed in your boardroom, you are in a wrong building

Spread the word, only if you agree… the rest is easy

 Naseem Javed, July 4 2022