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The African Digital Economy Thriving In Spite Of Pandemic


Since the coronavirus outbreak, our regular daily activities have been limited and temporarily stopped other some economic sectors that require physical contact to ensure social distancing. This current season made online transactions more actives as more and other socio-economic activities commences its operations online. As more business transactions are done online, the digital economy experiences a constant rise in GDP, and it is yet to accomplish times two of its present revenue value.

In the nearest future, the digital market will continuously flourish as it promotes a comfortable lifestyle. The advancement in the digital economy grows at a fast pace and continues to spread across the African region rapidly. The internet is quite accessible and lucrative to those who understand who to channel its worth. From the southern part of Africa, is the testimony of Brighton Takawira, a native of Zimbabwe that left his country to seek greener pastures and found it in South Africa where he finally resides and earns a living from the lucrative perfume business he established.

Ever since the lockdown commenced, every other country locked her borders for safety reason that also disrupted the flow of cash, importation businesses, goods way-bill, and other activities that require the access to country borders. Takawira was also affected because the only means he uses to look after his mother was closed, he couldn’t send her money or any other thing until he got introduced to an online remittance company.

Unlike other testimonies from entrepreneurs on how their businesses reached limelight via an online platform, Takawira is one on amongst others that have witnessed the usefulness of transacting online without physical contact.

Read more: Stripe Acquiring Nigerian Fintech Firm Paystack Makes It The Biggest One In Africa Yet

During the early stage of the pandemic, the World Bank predicted the season is meant to cause a drastic fall 20% downwards, and developing countries will be the most affected. Although they might be in crisis, the FinTech industry has been generating more than enough revenue in the digital economy in which Africa is also a beneficiary as people like Takawira keeps accessing technology to make their lives stress-free.

Patrick Roussel the head of mobile financial services, Orange said: “We saw an increase of transfers as the diaspora wanted to help their family.”

Amongst other online platforms, remittance company happens to be the sections that experience a boom in its industry. Just as other business activity had to complete every transaction with online transfers, involving businesses like, migrants in the diaspora who sends money online, ride-hailing, food delivery, online mall, etc.

“We have seen an influx of new customers, and we see them mainly coming to us from the informal market,” said Andy Jury, the chief executive officer of Mukuru, the remittance platform Takawira currently uses.

Remittance company will continue to flourish even during the post-pandemic season because they offer the best services, which is cheap, safer and faster and also more accessible for the government to regulate, unlike other informal cash platforms. In terms with Mukuru that has accomplished over 70% growth in maximum speed, with the sole objective of leading the African FinTech industry, they have experienced a consistent rise of cash flow in the system for providing the platform that allows customers to send cash and to pay for goods.

In Zimbabwe, Mukuru recorded roughly $48 billion in the previous year and has achieved times ten of last year’s accomplishments in six months of the pandemic. Whereas other remittance company like Azimo, the UK-based company that only transact with high-profiled African countries like, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana ascertain over 200% rise of cashflow in three months on the pandemic, while an informal platform does not keep records of its transaction.

The FinTech industry could ascertain such growth because the central banks in Africa made it easy by reducing charges and allowing unlimited, secured transactions. For the sake of promoting social distancing, encouraged the use of online facilities.

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