Digital Transformation in a post-COVID world: Africa continues to trail other regions says new report

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and Portulans Institute have jointly revealed the results and rankings of the think tank’s latest edition of the Network Readiness Report (NRI 2020) in an endeavor to assess how countries are leveraging information technologies for future-readiness. The Accelerating Digital Transformation in a Post-COVID Global Economy report, which was launched virtually on 30 November 2020, found that Africa is still lagging behind other regions on issues of access, affordability, and usage of information and communication technologies (ICTs). It underlines that when the ripple effect of COVID starts to hit international trade and investment flows, the divergences between network-ready economies and laggards may be amplified. In reaction to the report, the UN Under-Secretary-General and ECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe called upon countries ‘to focus on access, cost, and speed. All these are about regulation and how we can better shape public-private partnerships for the continent to effectively harness digitalisation and innovation.’