Businesses in Africa should adopt a digital-first approach in their models to meet the demands of its young population who are digital natives, Phyllis Migwi, Country General Manager Kenya, Microsoft says.
Phyllis who gave a keynote address titled From Digital Transformation To Digital First on Thursday at the dx100 Symposium and Awards (formerly CIO 100 Awards), highlighted that Africa is at a different position when it comes to digital transformation owning to its history with technology and an explosion of the young digital native population.
“Digital transformation in Africa is at a different position from the rest of the world. MSMEs in Africa don’t have legacy systems and our population of young people are digital natives. The dynamics of their interactions are very different from the rest of the older generations,” she said.
According to statistics by the United Nations, Africa has the youngest population in the world, with 70 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa under the age of 30. As of 2022, around 40 per cent of the population was aged 15 years and younger, compared to a global average of 25 per cent.
Migwi also challenged businesses in Africa to come up with technology solutions that address the needs of users. “The generation we are selling to were born with phones in their hands. When it comes to technology solutions, they prioritise convenience and usability. Before coming up with technology solutions, businesses should understand their users’ culture and needs first. They should build solutions to meet where users are,” she said.
As Africa goes through accelerated digital transformation, so did cybersecurity incidences increase. Based on this, Migwi advised businesses to prioritise users’ education on security.
“With the acceleration of digital transformation enabling cloud-first and hybrid work environments, it’s more important than ever to have a robust, end-to-end cybersecurity strategy in place,” she said.
Migwi challenged organisations to educate users on the full capabilities of the technology solutions they are offering in the market.
“It is one thing to sell the solution, it is another thing to educate people on how to use them. It is getting to a point where consumers must understand the full capabilities of technologies offered to them by tech organisations,” she stated.
The dx100 Symposium and Awards organized by dx5, a digital transformation company, kicked off yesterday. Wednesday, 23, 2022. The 14th edition of the three-day event has brought together different tech leaders from across the continent, making it the most widespread edition of the annual awards.