Nicholas Okoye, president and chief executive officer (CEO) at the Anabel Leadership Academy, spoke yesterday on leadership in digital Africa at the Digital Services Africa conference at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Okoye questioned the sluggish movement of governments to convert analogue systems to digital platform, pointing to the benefits for the African population in digitisation.
“It’s not all about how much money we can make for ourselves and to pass it on to our shareholders,” he said.
Okoye said digitisation should not be seen as mainly taking away employment from people.
“We want to look at where are the job opportunities for our people so that they can embrace digitisation and the idea to digitise,” Okoye said.
Industry role players were appealed to approach and encourage governments to take “opportunities that actually stimulates digital development, that will stimulate democracy, that can stimulate the drive in new societies for Africa”.
He mentioned e-census and e-voting as examples of government opportunities to excel in its operations, with “large” opportunities also in the educational, medical and trade fields.
Clear vision, thorough strategy, practical systems and consistent execution are needed to move further into digital development.
Referencing recent statistics, Okoye said a 30 per cent job increase for broadband-dependent occupations is predicted to rise over the next five years.
Furthermore, 62 per cent of United States (US) employment relies on internet provision jobs, meaning without broadband, functionality is hampered.
“It tells you the economy has moved to an almost digital dependency on broadband infrastructure,” he said.
Furthermore, digital tools used by job seekers also show the important role of technology for employment.
Although the next generation will drive digitisation, governments should not wait until the youth steps into top positions before executing better operations, Okoye told HumanIPO.
He said traditional mindsets and beliefs need to be changed to engage fully with technology to the benefit of all.
“Information is not power, information only becomes power once you put that information into action. If you sit on that information, it is worthless,” Okoye said.