SA’s digitalisation is the best in Africa - report

File image

File image

Published Dec 8, 2016


Johannesburg - South Africa’s diverse economy and high-quality mobile broadband infrastructure made the country the continental leader in digitalisation of key sectors of its economy.

This is according to a report released yesterday by global technology firm, Siemens.

The African Digitalisation Maturity Report was conducted by the company to benchmark levels of digitisation in South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya.

The assessment was sent to Siemens’s existing and potential clients in the countries.

Klaus Helmrich, member of the managing board at Siemens, said the digital evolution meant company chief executives could ill afford not to lead companies’ digital transformation strategies. “Digital transformation must be the responsibility of chief executives, it cannot be delegated to the second layer of leadership.”

The report came a day Siemens announced its plans to raise investment in research and development by 300 million euros (R4.4 billion) to 5 billion euros.

The report focused on four pillars of economic maturity, the environment, infrastructure, and skills and digital literacy in the four countries.

It found that overall South Africa ranked first, followed by Kenya, Nigerian then Ethiopia.

Read also:  Broadband: SA earmarks R250m for national push

South Africa also came first on economic maturity with a score of 43 out of 100 followed by Kenya with 33, Ethiopia at 26 and Nigeria with 18. South Africa again led the way in environment at 60, followed again by Kenya with 55, Nigeria at 46, and Ethiopia with 27.

The country was also ranked first with regards to ICT infrastructure with 82, followed by Nigeria with 49, Kenya at 44 and Ethiopia with 33. With regards to skills and digital, South Africa came in first with 53, Kenya second with 38 and Nigeria had a score of 35 and Ethiopia with 20.

Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO of Siemens Southern Africa, said the continent’s governments had to work with the private sector to ensure the digitisation of the business space did not ruin industries ill prepared for change.


“Africa’s rapid urbanisation represents an opportunity for the extension of Information Communications Technology and improvement of digital maturity there is an opportunity for government as well as the private sector to roll out services for digital access and use,” Dall’Omo said.

Valter Adao, the leader of digital Africa at Deloitte, said, while companies could operate without embracing digitalisation, such companies would not be able to compete at the same level as those who had invested in the digital space. “Companies who embrace digitalisation perform better, we cannot ignore the fourth industrial revolution,” he said.


Related Topics: