July 02, 2020

Africa’s Long Walk to Economic Freedom

Africa’s Long Walk to Economic Freedom

Our country is coming to terms with a recent downgrade to junk status. This, paired with a complete change in economic activity within our borders, has left a lot of uncertainty amongst business owners and consumers alike.

Business restrictions are, however, set to become more relaxed in the coming months although no exact timeline has been given. In the meantime, many have taken it upon themselves to reinvent the way they operate and accelerate their digital migration.

The economic future of Africa

As a result of the pandemic, we have seen a reduction in goods and services that are readily available – causing a major economic disruption. The true extent of this will only become visible once everything has reverted to "normal". For now, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has estimated a decline in Africa’s GDP from 3.2 percent to 1.8 percent. This figure excludes economic activity in the informal sector, which is the bulk of the African workforce.

However, this is not set in stone and the outcome certainly has the potential to change as economic activity gains momentum.

Worldwide, businesses have had to implement cost-cutting measures to remain operational and mitigate the effects of a restricted economy. In most cases, however, businesses have been able to continue operations without severe changes being made, leaving many people in the fortunate position of remaining employed during this time.

The narrative has, therefore, changed from businesses being forced to close, to finding innovative ways to continue operations. Many businesses have taken on this challenge and the success is evident in the amount that have reopened since the beginning of the pandemic. As a result, income generation has remained steady with the only difference being the execution of services or goods being rendered.

Utilising a connected world

We are now at a point where we can communicate with a global network thanks to a boom in digital communication. Although we are unable to venture outside of our borders, we still have access to the skills and tools needed to keep our population functioning according to the new future of work.

Educational institutions have taken this opportunity to re-evaluate learning programmes. It is no longer necessary to travel to campus for classes or tutorials. It is now as simple as powering up your laptop and joining a digital learning session. Enabling the development of a stable infrastructure will play an important part in ensuring the sustainability of these educational options.

Our economy has been given the tools necessary to thrive and develop. It is up to businesses to make use of the resources at their disposal.

Everything is in place to power a digital economy. Are you ready to do your part? Discover SEACOM’s range of connectivity solutions that are ideal for an online business.