The telecommunications industry is classified as an informal sector. Telecommunications promotes the digital transformation of various sectors and economies globally, and network infrastructure is a direct way to improve communication bandwidth through investments.
The economic impact of the digitisation of major and informal sectors through AI, the Internet of Things, virtual reality, blockchain, robotics, and big data is a big indicator of how telecom can shape the future of things. And through addressing key models and solutions, the industry can favorably impact e-commerce, health tech fintech, edutech, and others. E-commerce needs digital tech to promote made-in-West-Africa goods to move swiftly and effectively for exportation.
Through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the telecommunications sector in West Africa can facilitate high-earning tech solutions for AfCFTA to achieve its over $1 trillion market value across West Africa.
As cybersecurity is an apex factor, GPS-technology tracking of digital equipment can help secure the personal information of users and digital businesses, and prevent vital data and information from being exploited. With the use of high-frequency radio systems, combat network radios, and secured handsets, military and security agencies’ operations can efficiently combat cybercrimes, regional land trespassing, and digital fraud from any distance.
Additionally, the adaptation of cybersecurity measures for use in scientific and technological research and innovations can make the telecom industry a bigger market, and create innovations for economic growth in West Africa.
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Digital literacy is a pertinent catalyst for the region. The digital literacy gap in the education sectors of the sub-region can be reduced through TEDx programs, comprehensive STEM education, and courses on coding and programming, radio engineering, and robotics, from the elementary level to the tertiary level.
The telecommunications sector can spur young adults to become world-class software engineers, data analysts, sound engineers, computer scientists, and digital marketers, among others, and further make the labor of the industry more dynamic, higher earning, and highly skilled. Understanding the impact can make the industry a revenue-generating sector for companies, employees, and the government.
Emerging startups in edtech will need collaboration and regional support to attain the goal of transforming the sector in the long term. Furthermore, job creation can hit a record high if the digital capabilities of West Africa are centered on improving the foundation of the region’s educational system, through a curricular upgrade with internships opportunities to accelerate effective digital literacy