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2021 Budget: African Countries To Focus On Digital Transformation And Security

2021 budget: African countries to focus on digital transformation and security

The whole world has prepared to face an uncertain 2021. From a business perspective, companies have established their objectives and strategies. As for governments around the world, they have already closed their budgets and visualized their growth opportunities in this year still marked by the global pandemic.

The key role of the telecom sector in the digital transformation

One of Covid-19’s consequences has been the relevance given to the telecommunications sector since last year, deservedly so. Indeed, the telecoms have emerged as a key industry in the maintenance and stability of socioeconomic growth, especially in developing countries. Governments are aware of this fact, which is why many, in their forecasts for 2021, have focused on this sector and its relationship with the economy at both the State and the domestic levels.

Uganda and Kenya examples

This is the case of Uganda, which has focused on risk identification, at an administrative level, to fight money laundering and terrorist financing. The Ugandan society is increasingly digital and advancing quickly towards a cashless economy, and is therefore well aware of the need to use technology as a way of strengthening national security.

Another interesting example is Kenya, an influential country not only in the East Africa region, but also on the continent as a whole. The Kenyan government’s main challenges are to improve fiscal discipline and minimize corruption. Like Uganda’s government, it has focused on various aspects related to telecommunications and technology, such as the fight against cybercrime – through the National KE-CIRT/CC’s cyber threat advisories – and the violation of data and constitutional rights, the improvement of the detection of counterfeit mobile devices and the protection of remittances as a fundamental source of income for the country.

These examples illustrate the commitment of the countries concerned to the digital transformation of their region. Uganda and Kenya are fully aware of the need for investment in technological infrastructures and services to face key challenges in the development of their societies, but so are Rwanda, Ghana and Congo, among others, as can be seen from their respective 2021 budget. For instance, the development of a smart society by promoting digital infrastructure and technologies to improve service delivery is one of the priorities under the Rwandan National Budget, while in Ghana, a digitization program was implemented in the public sector, also with a view to improving service delivery. For these countries, the protection of their digital transactions and systems in general has become a priority, and now that this first step has been taken, it is necessary to get the appropriate tools to obtain an overview of these sectors, in order to make data-driven decisions and allocate the right resources to the right projects.

The fight against present and future threats

An analysis of the above-mentioned countries’ budgets and investment objectives shows that these countries are determined to fight against threats that could put their economic development at risk. Money laundering, terrorism financing, non-compliance with current regulations and revenue leakage are now in the line of sight of these growing states which, with the appropriate technology, will be able to effectively mitigate these pressing risks.

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