Digital technology at the heart of economic innovation

To say that Africa is in pole position for emancipation from its traditional industries is a euphemism. The continent constitutes an enormous, booming marketplace for new technologies. At the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Kigali, Rwanda in May 2016, Olivier Cann, the event’s spokesperson, adopted a professorial tone to get his point across. “At last,” he explained, “there is a clearer understanding of the urgent need to diversify the African economies in order to achieve growth that is not dependent on raw materials and the abundant natural resources that many African countries possess. The aim of the summit is to identify the vectors of future growth, with particular emphasis on the technologies at play in a digital economy.” Beyond improving lives, digital technology is a powerful agent for the creation of businesses, and thus jobs.