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World Bank recommends digital infrastructure investment on recovery path

The World Bank is recommending improved investment in digital infrastructure development in Southern African countries for effective recovery from Covid-induced hardships.

The advice is contained in the Bretton Woods institution’s latest edition of the African Pulse titled: The Future of Work in Africa: Emerging Trends in Digital Technology Adoption.

The global financier has noted that many African nations, Malawi inclusive, have managed to continue economic activities using digital platforms amid the pandemic which has affected normalcy and productivity.

The report states that the economic activity was more in sectors that used digital platforms compared to nonusers.

Sectors and industries that have digital solutions have also remained vibrant amid the pandemic, with the financial sector topping the list locally.

In its predictions of increased use of digital technology, the financial sector is atop with a 40 percent probability seconded by ICT services with 39 percent and retail services coming third with 26 percent.

According to the Bank’s Vice President for Western and Central Africa Ousmane Diagana, there will be a great need for actionable policies in place to ensure fast, affordable, and reliable connectivity for the continent to leapfrog and to make the digital economy more inclusive.

He adds that this will be key in boosting productivity and improve employment and wages for both women and men in the formal and informal sector.

The development is also coming at a time when there are continued calls for the cost of internet services to go down in Malawi.

Malawi like most nations has also adopted web conferencing for large meetings and individual office interactions owing to the pandemic.

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