By Juliet Umeh
Digital Intelligence Index from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and global technology company in the payments industry, Mastercard have provided an in-depth look at the rate of technology adoption and the state of digital trust around the world.
They have unveiled that smartphone users in Nigeria are forecast to grow from 25 million to more than 140 million by 2025
This is as they noted that young people in the country are exhibiting high levels of digital engagement.
Building upon earlier editions in 2014 and 2017, this year’s 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.
The 2020 study highlights that while economies like Nigeria remain in the Watch Out zone, young people are demonstrating high levels of digital engagement, a bright spot for governments attempting to expand digitalization in their economies who need to do more to nurture their digital economies and instill trust in their emerging digital ecosystems.
The report has it that 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 demonstrating the potential for massive growth in digital economies.
Dean of Global Business at The Fletcher School, Bhaskar Chakravorti, said: “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.”
However, other key findings include:
With nearly two thirds of the world’s population online today, “we are entering an ‘after access’ phase, where access alone is not enough. Aspects such as the quality of access, effective use of digital technologies, accountable institutions, robust data governance policies and fostering trust are greater factors in determining digital competitiveness and sustainability.
“Young people in emerging economies are demonstrating high levels of digital engagement, a bright spot for governments attempting to expand digitalization in their economies,” it stated.
Also, President, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard, Ajay Bhalla, said: “Never before has there been such an acute need to understand the factors that drive digitalization and digital trust. With that knowledge, businesses and governments can work together to help all 7.6 billion people around the world benefit from the vast opportunities a digitally advanced economy can bring.
Whilst much remains uncertain today, it is clear that digital success will be a key building block in our collective recovery.”