June 6, 2023

Digital technologies offer new avenues with regard to economic growth in Africa by accelerating job creation , supporting access to public services and increasing productivity and innovation. However, major challenges remain. The lack of connectivity in remote plus rural regions and the low use of digital technologies in connected areas is further disadvantaging the poor, women, and small businesses.   Increased cyber risks and lack of data protection have brought new dangers and vulnerabilities to businesses, governments, and people.  

Government policies and regulations are key to enable greater utilization of digital solutions while mitigating risks. But how in order to intervene inside a timely manner in a changing technological environment? Agile enabling regulations are needed to quickly respond to market developments, facilitating entry associated with new competitors for the particular benefit of consumers. In Kenya, collaboration between the competition authority, the central bank and the particular telecom regulator allowed electronic financial service providers to access telecom providers to offer mobile money services along mobile network operators. Consumers benefitted with greater availability of options for mobile payments. Later, the collaboration also facilitated interoperability between mobile money providers and banks, allowing customers to seamlessly transfer funds between companies, top up saving accounts or use digital credit.

Such new approach is required to support the particular development of agile plus collaborative regulations. A shift from planning and controlling to piloting and implementing policies in a multi-stakeholder setting regarding rapid feedback and iteration is necessary. Feedback loops allow policies to be evaluated against the backdrop of the broader ecosystem to determine if they are still meeting citizens’ values and needs and considering the impact on the industry and private participation. To implement this approach, a change associated with mindset is first needed . This approach is particularly appropriate for dealing with digital transformation, which by its nature is changing and evolving , plus would otherwise be hampered by rigid policies and regulations.

Some African countries are already implementing agile regulation principles to address various issues. Ghana and South Africa responded swiftly in order to COVID pandemic demand intended for higher bandwidth by rapidly adjusting current regulations plus made it easy for companies to offer higher bandwidth to citizens. Kenya and Zimbabwe were quick to remove roadblocks and supported the roll-out of applications that allowed citizens in order to quickly access mobile cash transfers and other financial apps. The particular African Union has consulted perspectives from businesses, civil society plus academia to develop policy frameworks on data and upon digital identities. This inclusive multi-stakeholder approach resulted in workable frameworks that encourage innovation through information sharing and cross-border data flows to get African eCommerce while protecting rights of individuals. These African Union frameworks on data and on digital identities are important cornerstones to build an African Digital Single Market – the vision from the Smart The african continent Alliance that is endorsed simply by all members of the particular African Partnership.

The African Union’s Agenda 2063 envisions a people-driven development pertaining to Africa, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women plus youth. That’s why digital skills are usually prioritized inside the African Union Electronic Transformation Strategy 2020-2030 , where the goal is to “ build inclusive electronic skills and human capacity across the particular digital sciences […] plus technology policy & regulation ”. African leaders recognize the pivotal role of guidelines and rules in shaping societal and business practices and – if done correctly – how plans can support plus encourage digital transformation.

German Development Cooperation as well as the Digital Development Partnership of the Globe Bank, within partnership along with Smart Africa , have started piloting this souple approach under the Souple Regulation meant for Digital Change program (AReg4DT), a program linked to the Smart Africa Digital Academy, the particular digital skills vehicle designed for Smart Cameras, and atingi – a good online learning platform developed by GIZ , the applying organization from the German Federal Ministry just for Economic Advancement and Assistance. The pilot is equipping policymakers and regulators in Africa using the knowledge plus tools to regulate digital markets in Africa to support digital change. The results so far have been promising with a combination associated with online and face-to-face training events to allow for studying and knowledge exchange within and for The african continent. This partnership is testing the development of capability building activities in an agile and iterative way and tailoring the content to the local context, as well as gaining a practical understanding about implementation difficulties and the particular training ecosystem in Cameras. Prof. Dr. Yeboah-Boateng through Ghana’s National Communications Authority also appreciated the chance for the purpose of peer-to-peer exchange during the event in Abidjan. In particular, he noted the “value of better harmonization of procedures and regulations across Africa that would benefit the continent as the whole. ” 

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