Empowering Rural Communities Will Help Boost Africa’s Economic Development – Thompson Reuters Foundation

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Rural communities hold an invaluable level of potential needed to drive Africa’s economic development, the Thompson Reuters Foundation has affirmed.

The London-based global information network states that providing out-of-reach communities with access to technology could serve as a game-changer for the entire continent.

The report, which was released after an October 2017 event titled the Thomson Reuters Africa Summit, stated that the real problem in Africa is connecting with rural communities. Thomson Reuters found out that 50 billion devices will be globally connected in 10 years while Africa is still lagging when it comes to accelerating connectivity.

“The fabric of communication is data and we are shifting to automation and robotics. We need to find a way to be more efficient with the emergence of these new technologies,” said Sneha Shah, Managing Director for Africa at Thomson Reuters.

“We believe that we are the answer to address the existing challenges that businesses face and by working together and understanding our part collectively. I believe it will enable us to achieve Africa’s success,” Shah continued.

For the 6th consecutive year, the Thomson Reuters Africa Summit has brought together a network of Africa’s best thinkers, visionaries and thought leaders to address key challenges and discover vast opportunities to bolster Africa’s continued success.

Thomson Reuters’ researchers have found that for many investors, Africa is becoming a key part of their global portfolio.

“Although for some it is still a longer-term bet, the savvy investor, however, sees that, in an environment of global protectionism, with widespread technological disruption and all assumptions up for question – there has never been a better time to invest in Africa,” stated the report.

Africa is home to some of the fastest developing economies and markets in the world. With this in mind, the Summit stimulated discussions on how to turn disruption into opportunity and doing things differently to future-proof business.

Raising questions about whether the value is about money, growth or outcome, the ability to harness data is so powerful and defines real value and impact.

Shah stated that Africa should be open to collaborating, finding solutions and embracing change.

“Corporates need to ask themselves what is unique about their market proposition and eventually define the challenges they have to solve in Africa,” said Shah.



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