Disruptive Technology Policy Briefs


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Item
    Disruptive Technologies in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Mobile Telecommunications Services
    (2022) Grzybowski, Lukasz
    Access to mobile Internet can dramatically improve standard of living in developing countries by saving wasted trips, providing information about prices or serving as a conduit to banking, health care and other services. There are different ways through which mobile services can benefit people and economies in developing countries. First, mobile services can improve the functioning of markets by improving access to information and thus increasing transparency. Second, better communication can improve management of supplies and improve the efficiency of firms. Third, mobile phones may facilitate services which are in general not available to low income households, such as mobile phonebased financial, agricultural, health, and educational services. Fourth, communications apps used on mobile phones, such as Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Viber and others not only cut the expenses on telecommunications services of low-income households, but they may also facilitate the co-ordination and cooperation of communities without access to other means of communications. To date, there is only scarce research on how people in developing countries use mobile phones and Internet to access different mobile services and consequently how this impacts their well-being and the functioning of different markets. This is largely due to the shortage of individual-level data on the use of mobile services in these countries. In this report we contribute to filling this research gap by conducting a detailed study on the availability and access to mobile Internet services, use of different mobile services and their impact on economic outcomes such as adoption of financial services and labour market participation.
  • Item
    Digital Technology Adoption and Performance in South African Manufacturing Firms: Early Evidence for Policy
    (African Economic Research Consortium, 2022-03) Avenyo, Elvis Korku; Bell, Jason F.
    In addition, digitalisation and the disruptive and incremental technological changes and upgrades accompany alterations in global, domestic, and regional value chains by transforming where, how, and what is manufactured.5 However, these changes and upgrades, disruptive or incremental, are not always the same across time, geographies, firms, and industries. These differing impacts are due to several inherent complexities and characteristics (observed and unobserved), which provides a smorgasbord of considerations prior to implementing or adopting advanced digital technologies and a digital industrial policy. Nevertheless, the rapid pace of technological advancement necessitates an acceleration of digital technologies' uptake across all facets of society, government, and business to avoid being left behind.6 Moreover, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on industrial production, exports, and innovation across developing economies like South Africa, a well-documented technological follower, emphasises the prospects of a manufacturing recovery driven by the adoption of digital technologies.
  • Item
    Impact of Digital Technology Adoption on Employment in Senegal
    (African Economic Research Consortium, 2022-08) Diallo, Thierno Malick; Dumas, Tsambou André; Benjamin, Fomba Kamga
    Today, the country has a high rate of ICT use, with its smartphone adoption rate (35.6%) being among the highest in West Africa (Banque Mondiale [World Bank], 2019). Senegal is ranked 14th in Africa on the World Economic Forum’s Network Readiness Index 2016 and 1st on the continent for the weight of the Internet in its economy, estimated at 3.3% (République du Sénégal [Republic of Senegal], 2016). Despite these achievements, the country still faces many challenges. In fact, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU, 2017) ranked Senegal 124th in 2012 and 142nd in 2017 out of 176 countries, according to the ICT development index. This 18-place drop was due to lack of competition on the ICT market and the attendant high rates. While these rates have decreased over the last few years, they remain high: the cost of mobile internet represents 12% of the gross monthly per capita income in Senegal, compared to only 6% in Kenya (Banque Mondiale [World Bank], 2019). The results of the Gallup survey (2017) also revealed that broadband internet access had deteriorated between 2016 and 2017 in both urban and rural areas, while the urban rural internet divide had increased by 4 percentage points during the same year. All this goes to show that Senegal is still marked by limited coverage and a significant urban-rural digital divide. Furthermore, the development of the ICT sector requires adaptability and rapid response, and, hence, a high level of human capital. However, Senegal’s population is characterized by a low level of academic qualifications and skills, a situation which is not conducive to a rapid expansion of a dynamic digital economy. Indeed, the country was ranked 168th out of 189 countries in the 2019 Human Development Index published by the UNDP (2020) and 128th out of 130 countries in the 2017 Human Capital Index published by the World Economic Forum (2017). This may explain why Senegal has not taken full advantage of ICT benefits.
  • Item
    Role of Disruptive Technologies in Enhancing Agricultural Productivity and Economic Performance in Kenya
    (2022-08) Onsomu, Eldah; Munga, Boaz; Munene, Boniface; Macharia, John; Nyabaro, Violet
    Emergence of disruptive technologies has been associated with firm innovativeness, job creation and overall economic growth in various economies across the world. However, inability to adapt to disruptive technologies also leads to firm market exit resulting in job destruction, decline in incomes and or increased inequalities. Kenya has experienced major developments in technology innovations in the last 3 decades and various sectors in the economy have potential to benefit from adopting technology.
  • Item
    The Growth Effect of Disruptive Technology in Ethiopia: With a Case Study of Digitalization in the Financial Sector
    (African Economic Research Consortium, 2022-08) Geda, Alemayehu
    Ethiopia has witnessed excellent economic growth in the last decade and half. However, poverty and unemployment are still major problems. This is partly because this growth was not accompanied by structural transformation and failed to create sufficient employment, as a result (Alemayehu, 2022a). Fast and transformational growth is required to address these challenges. Disruptive technologies (DTs, hence forth) such as digitalization are crucial in this respect. DTs can bring about structural transformation of the economy, lead to global level of competitiveness and transform the economy and its various sectors and sub-sectors through technological leapfrogging. This is in particular important in the financial sector in Ethiopia which is at a very low level of development by the regional standard and, hence, the focus of this study.