Regional Director of Microsoft for Africa, Amrote Abdella, has noted that the benefits of a digitally-savvy government are many.

According to Abdella, armed with technologies and the capabilities to use them, governments are empowered to be more agile, efficient, data-driven, transparent and connected to citizens, adding that with machine learning and skills in data analytics, policy makers can be more forward-thinking, regularly re-examining policies, discovering new opportunities and mitigating risks for more productive and inclusive growth.

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The regional director disclosed that A Deloitte digital survey also found that public sector leaders who understand digital trends and technologies are three times more likely to provide appropriate support for transformation, compared to those who do not, pointing out that high levels of involvement with technology typically result in greater investment, broader adoption and a greater number of successful implementations.

She further informed that in a recent IFC report, Africa was noted as having a slow and insufficient policy response to digital transformation, stressing that respondents called for accelerated efforts in developing clear-cut digital agendas.

“This includes modernizing school curriculum, training teachers, expanding broadband access, promoting a vibrant business climate by encouraging competition, and enforcing cyber security. Today, resources such as the AI Business School geared specifically towards government can be the first step for governments looking to up-skill their employees.

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“With more digital champions in government, imagine how much more rapidly Africa could implement this transformation and advance its position as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“In 2018, for example, the United Arab Emirates announced its intention to become the world’s most prepared country for artificial intelligence, leading in AI research, development and innovation. To do so, they began efforts at government level, appointing the first dedicated Minister of AI. The effort was applauded for ensuring a necessary focus for implementation as opposed to just talking and ensuring solutions are based on the latest understanding of technology.

“For Africa to truly succeed,  and lead in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, innovative startups, technology companies and smart businesses need to collaborate on building an ecosystem where everyone benefits from technology. Leading this charge needs to be progressive governments with their road maps that both define and enable the digital horizon”, Abdella noted.


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