INTERNATIONAL - As Africa sits on the precipice of digital transformation, governments will need to make some bold choices, said a World Bank policy brief, which was revealed during the ongoing Fifth Investing in Africa Forum in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo.
"In Africa, faster Internet helps create jobs across education levels. Urgent investment in digital infrastructure is necessary to reach the African Union's goal of universal and affordable internet for all," the document, based on the the report titled "The Future of Work in Africa: Harnessing the potential of digital Digital Technologies for All," said.
It stressed that there is a critical need to equip workers with digital skills and to address universal basic digital literacy for all, adding the governments need to invest in complementary assets, such as reliable electricity and transport, and improve the overall business environment.
The growing youth population makes it more urgent for Africa to invest in technologies that will create more and better jobs, and the continuing high levels of poverty make it imperative to invest in ways that reduce rather than exacerbate the digital divide, according to the document.
It also pointed out that there is an African exception in this regard, which means there is still time for governments to make the right decisions now and pave the way for the next generation of African workers, investors and entrepreneurs to innovate and thrive.
According to the brief, the commitment of the African Union to promote digital technologies provides a window of opportunity to broaden the policy debate.
The World Bank called on the African countries to act now to facilitate all types of technology adoption to generate the jobs and economic transformation that Africa needs.
The three-day investment forum, jointly organized by the government of the Republic of Congo, China's Ministry of Finance, China Development Bank and the World Bank Group, kicked off on Tuesday.
Such issues as human capital development,digital revolution, innovation and the new service economy and public and private partnerships and investment climate were discussed during the forum.
According to the forum, digital technologies can unlock new pathways for economic growth, innovation, participation, job creation and access to services in Africa.