Africa currently accounts for only one per cent of the global digital economy, a stark contrast to 68 per cent in the United States, 22 per cent in China, and 27 per cent in Asia, the president and CEO of MTN, Ralph Mupita, has disclosed
This is even as he suggested that this gap represents a significant opportunity for growth.
To tap into the untapped potentials in the digital space, Mupita, while giving his keynote address to Nigeria’s business leaders, at the Businessday CEO Forum, advocated for a call to action, a blueprint for building a digital economy that could propel Nigeria to become the world’s fifth largest economy.
He highlighted the vast untapped potential in the digital economy, with Nigeria’s Internet Gross Domestic Product (iGDP) currently at six per cent and expected to double by 2050 to reach $145 billion.
Commending the new administration under president Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who has indicated his commitment to promote the growth of ICT and the digital economy for the shared prosperity of all Nigerians, Mupita called on the government and business leaders to promote policies that facilitate inclusive growth.
He urged for a spectrum roadmap that ensures sufficient resources to meet the surging demand for mobile services. He advocated for speedy access to mid-band spectrum, crucial for the future of low latency 5G, and access to sub-1 GHz spectrum to provide widespread rural mobile broadband services.
He also highlighted the digital skills gap in Nigeria and across the African continent, especially in advanced skills such as AI & cloud computing. With an estimated 230 million “digital jobs” in Sub-Saharan Africa alone by 2030, Mupita emphasized the need for digital skills development to advance the digital economy.
“The potential is immense. The path is clear,” Mupita stated in concluding his presentation. “The future of Nigeria lies in its digital economy. And with strategic intent, collaborative effort, and a shared vision, that future is within reach. In the face of global economic shifts and technological advancements, Nigeria stands at the precipice of a digital revolution. The country’s digital economy is poised to drive economic growth, create jobs, and foster innovation,” he added.