With East African countries facing lower commodity prices and depreciating currencies, use of technology to boost economic growth is a discussion that must continue. Prices for commodities have gone down and the International Monetary Fund has just lowered sub Saharan growth prospects to 3 per cent this year after steady growth for 15 years.
It is time to make reforms that will allow Africa to benefit from technological transformation and to unleash its economies using digital transformation.
East African economies clearly depend on agriculture, and modernising agriculture would be a huge part of developing the continent. Digital technology will have a large part to play in terms of knowledge sharing, and it is already making big improvements.
If you look at the movement in the services sector, if you look at the productivity numbers over the past 10 years, countries all over the world have experienced a decline in services productivity. Meanwhile, Africa is moving into services but not high productivity services. I see these new technologies unleashing a lot of things, like M-Pesa in Kenya.
If technology starts to allow people to have better access to finance, improved education, healthcare and more, these areas can gain from technologies in the services sector.
This would help to train people and move them up the value chain of human resource in Africa, and also create new job opportunities.
Technology is the way forward for all sectors of the economy really. There are no two ways about it. Partnerships are inevitable if we are to fully harness the potential that lies in us turning our investments into technology based businesses