Technology will accelerate growth on African continent – Juliet Ehimuan

By Abimbola Mohammed

Juliet Ehimuan, Director, Google West Africa, has stressed the need for businesses to be digitally surveyed as technology is breaking barriers, norms in the business world.

She said this at the day 1 of the 4th edition of the International Advertising Association (IAA) conference, slated for 28th and 29th of September, 2021. The conference theme is: “Africa to the World”.

Ehimuan noted that technology is powering the rise in the field tech industry, reducing barriers, breaking norms for small and medium enterprise and also creating new models for credit scoring and accessing credit which is making a huge difference in the way of doing business.

Speaking on the title of her section “The role of Technology in Accelerating Africa’s Growth”, she said the rise in e-commerce is controlled by upgrade in technology from the customer engagement perspective because more organisations are able to keep their businesses running by creating alternative channels. They engage with customer from either mobile or other devices using Apps, online stories, social profiles, online videos and more.

Her words: “Technology is becoming the main frame in driving customer acquisition and retention. Artificial intelligence (AI) is being increasingly used to enhance performance experience across the African continent.

“From a supply chain perspective, we are also seeing technology being used to unbundle and optimize supply chains through logistic planning. The upgrading in technology is starting to degrade the traditional sectors and creating more markets such as Agritech where the entire value chain has been opened up to facilitate B2B and B2C trade.”

Explaining that technology and business cannot be discussed without mentioning the digital economy, she said: “When talking about technology and business growth we must talk about the digital economy which captures the impact of digital technology on patterns of production and compulsion, including how good and services are marketed, traded and paid for. It basically refers to the broad way of economic activities that use the digitalized information and knowledge as key factors of production, and we have seen a lot more growth and contribution of digital to overall economic growth.”

She continued: “Why is this important? It is for two reasons: growth and value creation. From the growth perspective when businesses disrupt and enter the digital economy, we see that road to trajectory quickly changes and we see a lot of acceleration. Past records have shown continuous growth in the digital economy globally which in most cases grow even more than the total economy.”

Speaking on how the pandemic forced businesses to embrace the digital world, she said the digital economy recorded a massive growth as the value added grew at an average annual rate of 9.9% year from 1998 to 2017, compared to 2.3% growth in the overall economy, another increase in business value creation.

On the role technology has played in contributing to growth in Africa, Ehimuan said: “Africa is not left behind because increasingly, we have businesses that have entered the uniform team. While investment in most sectors is declining, tech based investments are growing; examples of these tech based companies are Flutterwave and KUDA.”

She argued that the success of the digital economy requires robust infrastructure, content & apps, Digital Literacy, Enablers i.e. developers, technology companies and enabling policy environment.

“The future is a technology-enabled one and technology is key to accelerating growth on the continent,” she concluded.


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