News & Analysis: 4IR and digital transition

COVID-19’s Impact on the Agri-Sharing Economy in Africa: An Interview with Hello Tractor’s Folu Okunade

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Folu Okunade, Chief Strategy Officer & Chief Operating Officer, Hello Tractor, about the pandemic’s impacts on small-scale farming and the burgeoning ‘agri-sharing’ economy in Africa.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Digital Disruption in Africa – Mapping Innovations for the AfCFTA in Post COVID-19 Times

“The rise in ecommerce particularly with the onset of COVID-19, signals a strong foundation upon which to leverage 4IR to support digitised inter-regional trade, large scale industrialisation, and the creation of a vibrant African economy.”


Africa-led solutions to expedite access to COVID-19 vaccines

“Actions that African governments take today will not only enable a sustainable and quality-assured supply of efficacious vaccines to fight the pandemic but will also help maintain public trust.”

via Devex

COVID-19 is accelerating a quiet technology revolution in Africa

“Nearly half of Africa’s economic growth over the next ten to twenty years will be driven by a group of still relatively unknown tech companies.”

via Financial Times

How working from home helped Starbucks expand in South Africa’s pandemic-hit economy

“Starbucks South Africa is expanding with a multi-pronged retail approach and a focus on remote workers who need a break from working in their home environments. The strategy has seen the brand planning to add eight new outlets to the 14 stores already operating in and around Johannesburg and Durban.”

via Quartz Africa

Online classes may not go away, even post-pandemic

“For years, Ugandan have been reluctant to embrace e-learning, majorly due to big difference in students’ wellbeing and computer/data affordability, but this pandemic has fast-tracked the education system along the digital tracks.”

via The Observer

We must keep COVID-19’s gains in education

“The COVID-19 disaster showed much that is wrong in South Africa, but it also demonstrated that many things can be made a lot better — fast… The zero-rating of local educational websites proved that poorer families can be included in the digital revolution.”

via Mail & Guardian

The Network Readiness Index 2020: Accelerating Digital Transformationin a post-COVID-19 Global Economy

“The 2020 Network Readiness Index ranks a total of 134 economies based on their performance across 60 variables. Recognizing the pervasiveness of digital technologies in today’s networked world, the Index is grounded in four fundamental dimensions: Technology, People, Governance and Impact.”

via Portulans Institute

Kenya Central Bank holds rate as economy picks up

“Kenya’s central bank agreed to keep its interest rate steady during its November meeting, as East Africa’s largest economy expects to recover from COVID-19 disruptions in the second half of this year. The monetary policy committee maintained its benchmark rate at 7% for the sixth straight meeting since March, when it eased the policy environment to deal with the effects of the global pandemic.”

via African Business Magazine

Economic and Social Impacts of COVID-19 in Eastern Africa

“The pandemic and resulting crisis threaten to reverse some of the region’s development gains of the last decade and challenge progress to the SDGs.”