Does Digital Technology Stimulate Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa?
By Alexander Ayertey Odonkor & Emmanuel Amoah-Darkwah
Depending on the scope, estimates of the size of the digital economy ranges from 4.5% to 15.5% of the global GDP with the United States and China accounting for close to 40% of the world total as revealed by the Digital Economy Report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 2019. The report further indicates that the United States and China have contributed more to developing the information and communication (ICT) sector than any other country although many countries are benefiting from the sector – from 2010 to 2015, global employment in the ICT sector increased from 34 million to 39 million with digitally deliverable services exports amounting to $2.9 trillion in 2018, thus 50% of global services exports.
The United States and China, the two largest economies have contributed immensely in developing digital technology. Today digital platforms are considered to be an indispensable component of the world economy as the combined value of digital platform companies with a market capitalization of $100 million was estimated to be more than $7 trillion in 2017, a colossal increase of 67% over 2015 – Facebook has evolved into a top social media platform in more than 90% of the world’s economies, accounting for two-thirds of the global social media market whiles Google also holds about 90% of the market for internet searches.
Photo courtesy of Blickpixel.