For nations to become digital, the first step is to provide every citizen, institution, company and government with the possibility of having an active participation in the digital economy and in developing digitally-driven social interactions.
Over the past months, Kenya has taken a step forward in the race towards the creation of digital nations in Africa, by developing its Digital Economy Blueprint for building successful and sustainable digital economies. Eventually, this blueprint has been presented as a model to be adapted and framed to the various digital ecosystems in Africa.
According to James Claude, CEO of Global Voice Group (GVG) – an International ICT solutions provider to governments and regulatory authorities, “digital nations are underpinned by digital identities. These are a means by which individuals and businesses prove their identity online. Nevertheless, the precondition for digital identities to consolidate in any nation is trust. If users do not feel their data is protected, no online exchanges or transactions will happen. For this reason, security is the basis for building strong digital nations in Africa”.
Global Voice Group’s solutions precisely promote trusted digital identities as the cornerstone for promoting truly inclusive digital ecosystems. One of the final objectives of Africa’s digital transformation is inclusion, both from a social and economic perspective. Technology drives instant and effective access to information and communication services, both in the public and private spheres, and generates inclusiveness in emerging countries, often characterized by huge inequalities.
A central issue for the creation of trusting digital nations is precisely the ability to store data securely and locally. A key step is to build safe National Data Centers to store critical and sensitive data for governments and citizens. These centers should be further promoted across different regions in Africa. The stronger the best for technology-based security means to protect them (5G or Internet of Things), the bigger the trust in the digital ecosystem.
Cyber security, a key issue
In line with the security issues, one of the main threats for the creation of solid digital nations across Africa is cybersecurity, often seen as the integral securing of digital systems. Internet insecurity is a growing concern for governments and authorities, due to its direct impact on the Internet users and the high reach and social repercussion of cybercrimes. The magnitude of the problem can only be fully understood keeping its costs in mind: cybercrime is projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021.
While attending the 10th edition of Angotic, James Claude explained that “in the face of this growing insecurity, governments worldwide struggle to identify and to implement measures and tools that may effectively monitor and counteract different menaces such as: fake news, hate propaganda, hacking, identity theft, among other cybercrimes.”
In this context, GVG has developed solutions aimed at providing governments and regulators with control over the most challenging security and safety aspects related to websites, blogs and applications the subscribers of licensed operators are accessing. Ultimately, they are deployed to erase all potential threats that may arise across all digital channels and that could endanger to subscribers’ security.
Once these threats are effectively tackled using the most advanced digital solutions for it, governments, across Africa and other geographies will be in the position of fostering trusting digital nations, following the remarkable examples of Kenya and Ghana with its own Digital Agenda launched in 2018.