Opinion Piece

Digitalization and Fintech in Sub-Saharan Africa

By February 11, 2020 No Comments

This opinion peace aims to shed light on few of many business opportunities that can be found in Sub-Saharan Africa. If you are a digital savvy with dreams of using your digital skills in an impact startup, Sub-Saharan Africa is your destination.

Technology is transforming the global economy, faster than ever. More than half of the world population have access to technology compared to 30 percent in 2010. This transition has created opportunities. These opportunities are to be found in a great amount of developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa where there is an increased demand for digital skills.

It is estimated that 230 million jobs in sub-Saharan Africa will require digital skills resulting in 650 million training opportunities. A 130-billion-dollar opportunity exist in providing digital training in Sub-Saharan Africa until 2030. The largest opportunities are to be found within business-to-business and business-to-government.

Another opportunity to be found within digitalization in Sub-Saharan Africa is within digital financial services. Digital financial services (Fintech) create financial inclusion through reduced transaction costs. Digital financial services allow people to open savings accounts, take out loans, invest in stock markets etc.  Fintech could be the steppingstone towards a digital economy in Africa, which could create a structural transformation, if exploited well.

So how does this relate to the SDGs?  Digital skills are an essential part of human capital development and paramount to future success, moreover Investment in human capital in Sub-Saharan Africa can improve competitiveness. Digitalization can create infrastructure in rural areas (SDG 9) the majority of households in rural areas in sub Saharan Africa, are not to be found on navigation systems. There is a business-to-government and business-to-business opportunity in mapping rural areas that is not being utilized to its full potential.

Sustainability Influencers

We are students with different educational backgrounds and nationalities all sharing the same agenda: we want to mobilise, engage and empower young people to take action on sustainability issues. We break down silo thinking and instead foster co-creation, innovation and collaboration between multiple disciplines. The Sustainability Influences is a one-year volunteer programme for students who wish to have a broad influence on important institutions in society and actively participate in the sustainability debate, interact with students and professionals, participate in workshops and events, and engage with key sustainability practitioners.

Please visit our website for more information about the programme and our impact.

About the author

Shantel is part of the Advocacy team within the Sustainability Influencers. She is born and raised in Zambia, East Africa. She is a bachelor student in Intercultural Marketing and Communication at Copenhagen Business School and aspires to propel sustainable development through transcontinental collaborations for technological disruption.