TECHNOLOGY

New global index defines what makes digital economies more trusted and resilient

The index recommends that the Kenyan government needs to do more to nurture the digital economy

In Summary
  • The  index charts the progress countries have made in advancing their digital economies.
  • Digitally savvy Kenya emerging as a hotspot for digital demand among nations in Middle East and Africa region.
BUSY: Internet surfers at a cyber cafe in Nairobi.Photo/Karuga Wa Njuguna
BUSY: Internet surfers at a cyber cafe in Nairobi.Photo/Karuga Wa Njuguna

There is a strong and growing digital demand in the country on account of social media use and mobile payment adoption, a recent study The Fletcher School at Tufts University in partnership with Mastercard.

The study  dubbed Digital Intelligence Index charts the progress countries have made in advancing their digital economies, fostering trust and integrating connectivity into the lives of billions.

Building upon earlier editions in 2014 and 2017, this index paints a picture of global digital development, sheds insight on key factors driving change and momentum, and unpacks what this means for economies facing the challenges of a global pandemic and post-pandemic future. 

For Kenya, the researchers in the study recommend that the government needs to do more to nurture the digital economy and instill trust in their emerging digital ecosystems.

The index also highlighted that the Middle East and Africa region is emerging as a hotspot for digital demand, with nations like Kenya leading the way.

The Sub-Saharan African region, on the other hand, has led a mobile money revolution, making two-thirds of the world’s 37 billion mobile money transactions in 2019.

In Africa, the two largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, remain in the Watch Out category where young people in these emerging markets are demonstrating high levels of digital engagement, a bright spot for governments attempting to expand digitalization in their economies.

“The pandemic may be the purest test of the world’s progress towards digitalization. We have a clearer view on how dynamic digital economies can contribute to economic resiliency during a time of unparalleled global turmoil and can be positioned for recovery and change,” said Bhaskar Chakravorti, Dean of Global Business at The Fletcher School.