Published 9 September 2019, by Dr Iqbal Survé

In the preamble to the 2019 World Economic Forum on Africa, it’s noted that at least 20 African countries will undergo elections this year. This is an important milestone in Africa’s evolution and one that can bring about significant progress, especially with Africa finding itself on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,
where change and progression will be inevitable. How fast and how meaningful this progress will be depends on a number of factors, not least of all voting forward-thinking governments into power across the continent – governments that can grasp the possibilities of digital and how it can advance their countries and Africa as a whole.

It is not a government’s role to create jobs, but it is necessary to have the right political will to construct the frameworks that are necessary for growth across the board – whether environmental or economic. In today’s digital world, it’s also increasingly important for governments to collaborate with each other, particularly in
light of developments in cross-border payments and the like. Of equal standing is the need for the public and private sectors to work together in producing the solutions needed.

The recently signed African Continental Free Trade Agreement is a case in point. While it took nearly two decades to structure and sign, the Agreement has finally put Africans in charge of their own development and – while there is still a technical minefield to navigate, as Africa faces problems of instability – the will is there to promote an exchange between the 54 countries that comprise the continent.

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