Kenya Emerges Top in the Africa Youth Digital Readiness Index

The 2023 Eastern Africa Youth Digital Readiness Index Report has been released. Compiled by Qhala, a digital transformation and innovation management company, the index offers insights into the digital readiness of the youth population across Eastern Africa.

Kenya claimed the top position in its country’s ranking for youth digital readiness with a score of 26.75, closely trailed by Rwanda at 19.85. Uganda secured the third spot with a score of 19.4, followed by Ethiopia at 18.25. Tanzania rounded up the top five with a score of 17.75.

Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Somalia secured the sixth, seventh, and eighth positions with scores of 16.5, 15.95, and 10.05, respectively. Burundi and South Sudan concluded the ranking with scores of 9.25 and 7.6.

Kenya claims the top spot on the list, attributed to its widespread mobile money system, significant government investments in infrastructure, and targeted initiatives aimed at enhancing digital literacy.

However, the report highlights persistent challenges, particularly concerning unequal access to technology in rural areas, a common obstacle observed across the region.

The index highlights areas requiring enhancement and advocates for regional collaboration to narrow the digital gap and empower youth. It also notes a surge in mobile money adoption across various countries, promoting financial inclusion.

Simultaneously, the study underscores the importance of knowledge exchange and collective endeavors to amplify impact through cooperation.

Released annually, the Youth Digital Readiness Index Report will track the progress of each country and its performance. Its objective is to inform policy-making, stimulate regional advancement, empower youth, and monitor progress.

“The essence of digital readiness extends beyond mere technological adoption. It encompasses a country’s potential to evolve into a digitally driven, skills-endowed, innovation-centric, and sustainable economy. Recognizing the significance of this paradigm shift, we present the 2023 Eastern Africa Youth Digital Readiness Index, a quantitative measure designed to gauge the digital potential and performance of Eastern African countries,” said Dr. Shikoh Gitau, the Founder and CEO of Qhala.

“A digitally ready youth population enhances the global competitiveness of Eastern Africa. Countries with a strong digital infrastructure and a skilled workforce are more attractive to global investors and can participate more effectively in the global digital marketplace,” she added.

In Sudan, mobile money usage is on the rise, driven by the increasing popularity of platforms such as MTN Mobile Money and Zain Cash. Similarly, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is witnessing a surge in Mobile Money adoption, with platforms like M-Pesa and Orange Money gaining traction. This growing utilization of mobile money contributes to the transition towards a cashless society and enhances financial security for many Congolese citizens.

Meanwhile, South Sudan is also experiencing a notable increase in mobile money adoption. Platforms like Equitel Mobile Money and mJang are playing a pivotal role in facilitating financial inclusion, particularly in rural areas where access to traditional banking services is limited.

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