African countries improve in Infrastructure and Economic Stability
African countries have showed strong improvements in Infrastructure and Economic Stability over the last decade. This is according to BCG’s annual Sustainable Economic Development Assessment (SEDA) 2018 report for Africa released yesterday.
The reports highlights a clear increase in global well-being post the financial crash in Africa. Despite the encouraging rise, the assessment notes that African countries still have much room for improvement. This is because they display lower than average well-being levels, in particular in Sub-Saharan nations.
This is in large part to much lower than average income levels and so comes as no surprise. However there are several factors which should be focused on to help improve wealth to well-being conversion for citizens. The research identified that countries which saw the most progress over this period were particularly successful in improving education, infrastructure and overall governance. The countries included Morocco, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya.
“In Africa, as well as globally, we see that the same three dimensions pop up as differentiators for countries that have made the most progress,” said Joao Hrotko, a BCG Partner and report coauthor. “It is also interesting to note that despite infrastructure having improved in most countries in Africa, the dimension still stood out as a differentiator between most improved and least improved African nations.”
The research also found that digital technology has a positive and significant association with a country’s ability to convert wealth into well-being at low and middle usage levels. Robust digital infrastructure supports employment by allowing faster matches in the job market, improves education by expanding the access of students to new material or instruction and strengthens governance by involving citizens more directly in decision making and reducing the inequality in access to information.
“The positive relation between technology readiness and wellbeing underlines the importance for developing countries to put the widespread adoption of digital technology among the items at the top of policy agenda, either through investing in digital infrastructure and promoting technology usage, or by creating the conditions for the private sector to invest,” added Hrotko.