Africa’s Digital Economy Will Rise to $712bn By 2050 – AfDB

The president, African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, has said the size of Africa’s digital economy will rise from $115 billion today to $712 billion by 2050.

He said this Tuesday at the official launch of the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (I-DICE) by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.

I-DICE, which is an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the digital technology and creative industries to create jobs, especially for young people, is supported by the AfDB, Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) and Islamic Development Bank with the Bank of Industry designated as executing agency.

Adesina said it was estimated that the size of digital global wealth would expand from $217 billion in 2022 to over $1 trillion by 2031 with most of this growth already being driven by four countries -Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.

He said: “We are already witnessing in Nigeria the power of digital technologies, tools and platforms. Nigeria currently has five out of the 11 digital companies that have reached the status of unicorn with market valuation of $1 billion. Names that come to mind include Jumia, Interswitch, Opay, Flutterwave and Andela, mainly in the fintech space.

“Nigeria’s poor and fragmented cargo transport system is getting transformed gradually, thanks to Kobo 360, a digital logistics platform launched by two young Nigerians, Obi Ozor, and Ife Oyedele.

“It is incredible that between 2018 and 2020 the Kobo360 platform has connected 50,000 trucks and truck drivers and helped to move freight worth $200 billion (Source: Endeavor, 2022).

“The creative industry in Nigeria is growing rapidly, in line with similar trend in Africa. The creative industry in Africa generated over $14 billion in revenue annually between 2015 and 2018 and is projected to help create close to three million jobs by 2025.”

He said AfDB is pleased to be a partner with the Federal Government of Nigeria on the $618 million I-DICE programme. The bank is providing $170 million in financing to the programme.

“I am delighted that we have been able to mobilise additional co-financing of $217 million towards the programme,” he stated.

The AfDB president said with over 70% of the population under the age of 30, Nigeria has one of the greatest assets in the world.

He said AfDB had invested $2 billion in 37 tech projects to improve national and regional broadband infrastructure, foster private investment and support digital enterprises.

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