Levering SA’s Digital Economy: Obstacles and opportunities in our digital economy
Updated: Aug 16, 2022
How do we make career opportunities in the digital economy more accessible?
Present issue: The digital economy is the economic activity that results from billions of daily online connections among people, businesses, devices, data, and processes.
Digital technologies offer South Africa a chance to unlock new pathways for rapid economic growth, innovation, job creation and access to services which would have been unimaginable only a decade ago.
If the country does not act on digital development soon, there will be insufficient opportunities for our expanding youth population to reach their full potential. Given the unacceptable youth unemployment in the country, South Africa needs to act fast.
Key statistics: South Africa’s internet penetration rate stood at 68.2% of the total population at the start of 2022. Kepios’ analysis indicates that internet users in South Africa increased by 494 thousand (+1.2%) between 2021 and 2022. This starts to show a plateau in growth compared to previous years.
Nevertheless, GWI reported for 2021 that the number of people purchasing consumer goods via the internet has grown by 2.8 million (+12.6%) to 24.7 million. Furthermore, remote work has increased dramatically since the pandemic, and surveys have shown that employees prefer hybrid working models instead of being in the office full-time, demonstrating a desire for a more digital lifestyle.
Context: The backbone of the digital economy is hyperconnectivity which means the growing interconnectedness of people, organisations, and machines that results from the Internet, mobile technology and the internet of things (IoT). As discussed in dialogue with Digify Africa, there is a growing "digital divide" that requires immediate and coordinated action. Digify Africa wants to hear from you on how it is possible to further leverage the digital economy.