Viewpoint: The Technology Space Is Rapidly Evolving in Africa, and It’s Not All Good News
By Spandana Singh and Hanna Wetters
One of the poorest countries in Africa is getting serious about going digital. In October, the Malawian government announced it would require businesses to offer options for digital payments in an effort to expand the digital economy and tax base. Like Malawi, many African countries now find themselves at the forefront of global conversations around how to compete in an increasingly digital economy and govern online spaces, but few are rising to the challenge of safeguarding digital rights in the process.
Rapid population growth across the continent and the anticipation of millions of new technology users in the next five years places additional pressure on African governments to make pivotal policy decisions around cybersecurity, surveillance, internet access, digital rights and data governance. Domestic economic and political pressures, an evolving global order and a pattern of knee-jerk responses by African governments to the challenges of new technologies make the results of these policies even more critical for the African continent.
Photo courtesy of Neil Palmer.