Digital Technology Adoption and Performance in South African Manufacturing Firms: Early Evidence for Policy

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Avenyo, Elvis Korku
Bell, Jason F.
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African Economic Research Consortium
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.