Africa eCommerce Week: The need for statistics to measure the development impact of digitisation

Senior Researcher, Dr Onkokame Mothobi presented at the Africa E Commerce week on the importance of data. This session discussed the insights that can be gleaned by the collection of statistics concerning the digital economy in Africa, which supports decision-making by policy-makers and other stakeholders. It highlighted recent work that has been done in this area by UNCTAD, Research ICT Africa and others active in this area, and will consider ways in which the availability of data in Africa can be increased. Here are some of the highlights:

  •  Despite the recognition of ICTs as critical to economic growth and human development, we do not have data to show its impact
  • Indices such as IDI, NRI, MCI, ADI are commonly used to measure countries performance, but they are created using macro level indicators and supply side estimates which fails to capture ICT impact at micro level
  • These indices turn to inflate penetration levels especially in Africa where majority of subscribers (98%) are prepaid users
  • The 2017/18 After Access survey shows that high income countries tend to have high Internet use
  • While there are a number of innovations on the continent, these innovations have remained local and failed to operate outside the country of origin or they tend to be popular within an economic block
  • Microwork in Africa has remained very low. Only two percent of economically active African woking on online microwork.

Download the presentation here 2018_Measurement of the digital economy_Africa E Week