New digital deal for (South) Africa

RIA’s executive director, Alison Gillwald, delivered a presentation at an Economic Research Southern Africa (ERSA) webinar on “Industrial Organization and the Economics of Digital Transformation” on 10 June 2020.

Her input focused on a new digital deal for Africa, with particular reference to South Africa.

In framing the problem, Gillwald highlighted the issue of hyper-globalisation, digitalisation and datafication – further arguing that there’s no quick fix to the problems of hyper-globalisation, which include the prioritisation of narrow financial interests in an inequitable world characterised, amongst other things, by stagnant wages.

Quoting UNCTAD, she said, “The broad aim is to catalyse a big transformative push by breaking with austerity economics, promoting public investment and crowding in productive private investment, and levelling the playing field for working families everywhere.”

Broadly based on the principles of the Green New Deal, Gillwald called for a New African Digital Deal.

To this end, she highlighted the need for a policy shift to allocate resources more equitably ensuring meaningful access to quality public goods in the digital era.

Download her presentation for a breakdown of the critical policy areas highlighted in the webinar.