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APO International

Equatorial Guinea: New Report Proposes a Way Forward to Develop a Safe and Inclusive Digital Economy

todayJune 25, 2024 5

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In the wake of new challenges and its prolonged oil-dependency, Equatorial Guinea’s government is aiming for economic diversification as a key course of action for growth and stability. The adoption of digital technologies has the potential to increase the productivity of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and stimulate innovation, increasing productivity, and create high-skilled jobs in Equatorial Guinea. Digital transformation could therefore play a critical role in diversifying Equatorial Guinea’s economy in the upcoming years.

The Digital Economy Country Diagnostic for Equatorial Guinea, developed by the World Bank and the Government of Equatorial Guinea and supported by the Digital Development Partnership (DDP), notes that, while many Sub-Saharan African countries are undertaking digital transformations, Equatorial Guinea must step up its efforts to capture a larger share of the dividends of the digital economy. The report focuses on challenges and opportunities facing Equatorial Guinea along the five foundations of the digital economy: digital infrastructure, digital public platforms, digital financial services, digital businesses, and digital skills.

“Looking at the size of Equatorial Guinea’s economy, digital marketplace platforms can help firms to expand and access other markets, which could be especially important to stimulate the development of the private sector in the country,” said Aissatou Diallo, Resident Representative for Equatorial Guinea.

The report further provides a series of specific, actionable, and prioritized recommendations for Equatorial Guinea to develop a vibrant, safe, and inclusive digital economy. These are intended to structure dialogue going forward between the Government of Equatorial Guinea, the private sector, and the country’s technical and financial partners to catalyze action and enable the country’s rapid digital transformation.

The highlighted quick-win recommendations from across the five digital economy pillars include:

Digital Infrastructure: Apply cost-oriented obligations in the international capacity and national network fiber wholesale markets, as well as conducting a cybersecurity maturity assessment.
Digital Public Platforms: Develop a national Strategy for digital public platforms and strengthen a whole-of-government approach.
Digital Financial Services: Assess the need to expand and strengthen agent networks to foster DFS adoption, especially in remote areas.
Digital Businesses: Articulate a roadmap to develop an inclusive digital entrepreneurship ecosystem, as well as promoting public-private dialogue.
Digital Skills: Develop a national education ICT policy and conduct a digital skills gaps assessment.

“Going forward, it is essential for the Government of Equatorial Guinea to undertake concerted reform efforts across the five pillars, while addressing the following cross-cutting issues: Improving data quality, coverage, and usage; improving institutional coordination and access to reliable electricity; strengthening the implementation of the legal and regulatory framework; and bridging the island-continental digital divide and gender gap,” said Camila Mejia Giraldo, World Bank Senior Digital Development Specialist and lead author of the report.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The World Bank Group.



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