As we celebrate this day, I use this opportunity to encourage all to support telling the Africa story the African way. We all need to make a conscious and purposive effort also to supporting grow Africa by eating, wearing, traveling and living African. Africa can and must be seen built by Africans deploying solutions that work locally and fit into the global change agenda as well. We need to act local but think global.
We can make Africa resilient and create more jobs post covid-19 in support of the AU agenda 2063. Measuring Africa’s economic, social and institutional performance in light of the targets set by the African Union’s Agenda 2063, it is worth noting digital transformation can create quality jobs and contributes to achieving Agenda 2063. African economies can become more resilient to the global recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Policy, strategies and action plans can support this drive. The African Union’s Agenda 2063 talks about the Africa we want. We realize this blueprint and master plan document will support the transformation agenda for Africa, making it the global powerhouse of the future. The continent’s strategic framework aims at delivering on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development as well as serve as a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.
Focusing then on the complete Africanization of the body, soul and mind of the African continent, some of its African leaders came to the realization, there was a need to refocus. Powerful as focus is, it yields commitment and creates results.
The genesis of Agenda 2063 was the recognition by African leaders that there was a need to refocus and reprioritize Africa’s agenda from the struggle against apartheid and the attainment of political independence for the continent which had been the focus of “The Organisation of African Unity” – (OAU), the precursor of the African Union; and instead to prioritize inclusive social and economic development, continental and regional integration, democratic governance and peace and security amongst other issues aimed at repositioning Africa to becoming a dominant player in the global arena the document mentions.
As an affirmation of their commitment to support Africa’s new path for attaining inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development, African heads of state and government signed the 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the formation of the OAU /AU in May 2013. The declaration marked the re-dedication of Africa towards the attainment of the Pan African Vision of “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena”.
Agenda 2063 is the concrete manifestation of how the continent intends to achieve this vision within a 50 year period from 2013 to 2063. Struck by the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy will contract by at least 4.5% as put forward by the Africa Development Dynamics report. The African continent, which is highly exposed to external shocks, will experience its first recession in 25 years, with a decline in gross domestic product (GDP) of between 2.1% and 4.9% according to scenarios mapped out by the African Union in July 2020 in collaboration with the OECD Development Centre. African governments have responded to this massive shock with lockdowns, social protection, economic support and recovery measures.
To support make Africa resilient, the continent must focus on digital transformation strategies to creating quality jobs and contribute to achieving Agenda 2063. Eight years done the line, Africa’s Development Dynamics in its collaborative approach supports with insights to how the continent can be made resilient. This collaboration results from a solid and broad partnership between the African Union’s Commission for Economic Affairs and the OECD Development Centre. A team of academic researchers, economists, statisticians, and other experts from Africa and diverse world regions contributed to the 2021 edition of the report. Furthermore they put forward some policy recommendations to each region as defined by the Abuja Treaty: looking at Africa in block groupings as Southern, Central, East, North and West Africa.
For Africa to be more innovative, inclusive and attain sustainable growth, the agenda on digital transformation must be seriously looked at. The report identifies four priorities for implementing this ambitious action plan:
Africa must ensure universal access to the digital solutions best suited to local contexts.
This will involve reducing inequalities, especially between women and men, and between megacities and rural areas, as well as the cost of accessing data, which is often higher than in other regions of the world.
African must make digital technology a device for productivity, especially for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). A number of African countries are leading the way in protecting intellectual property rights and digital security; a step in the right direction.
Africa countries must develop skills tailored to the fourth industrial revolution so that the expertise of the African workforce is aligned with 21st century markets, while facilitating the adoption of digital innovations by the informal sector.
Africa must co-ordinate the multiplicity of digital strategies at the continental, regional, national and local levels to better prioritize, implement, monitor and evaluate progress. When the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement -AfCFTA is implemented in 2021, it will include a component on establishing a single digital market in Africa that will complement multi-sectoral approaches.
Moving forward, governments can drive Africa’s digital transformation and trigger
large-scale job creation, including outside the digital sector, through four complementary
- African governments must promote the dissemination of digital innovations beyond large cities through place based policies.
- Prepare Africa’s workforce to embrace digital transformation and guarantee social protection.
- Remove barriers to innovation that prevent smaller firms from competing in the digital age.
- Deepen regional and continental co-operation for digital transformation. This is because coordinated operation can support the development of coordinated solutions as digital technologies pose new challenges to national regulators. Solution provision then must look at addressing issues arising from digital taxation for instance. How security of our digital technologies can be looked at as well as addressing privacy, personal data protection and cross-border data flows.
Baptista is a human resource professional with a broad generalist background. Building a team of efficient & effective workforce is her business. Affecting lives is her calling! She is a Hybrid Professional, HR Generalist, strategic planner, innovative, professional connector and a motivator. You can reach her via e-mail on [email protected] You can follow this conversation on our social media pages Facebook / LinkedIn/ Twitter / Instagram: FoReal HR Services. Call or WhatsApp: +233(0)262213313. Follow the hashtag #theFutureofWorkCapsules #FoWC
Happy Africa Union (AU) day!