The historical developmental path runs from the agricultural to the industrial revolution. When it comes to Africa, the question raised is Run or walk first? In essence, will technology leap frog Africa’s development? The Economist Special Report delves into this debate in-depth.
Technology and innovation are a bedrock of development in richer countries and the GDP per person between countries is influenced by productivity. Asian countries – with Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China embraced the world’s largest technologies to build stronger manufacturing economies.
However, African countries have a good agricultural base to spring from. The State of Food and Agriculture 2017 (SOFA) noted that economic growth in rural areas is helpful only when supported by policies in social protection infrastructure development.
Hence, for agricultural productivity to increase in Africa, there is a need to invest in infrastructure – such as roads, energy, communication and technologies. The article concludes by stating that it still remains to be seen if technology can ‘leapfrog” Africa.