More broadly, adequate infrastructure development will drive and sustain economic transformation in Africa. With lower transport and communication costs, countries with suitable agro-ecological conditions can produce high-value products. Closing the internet connectivity and access gap with advanced economies will enable more African countries to enter service export markets. Small-scale manufacturers in Africa may also become more competitive with access to digital platforms for research, sales, and distribution.
In actuality, our research highlighted that none of these characteristics matter as much as you might think when it comes to leading digital transformation. In fact, 71 percent of 1,500 executives we surveyed in more than 90 countries said that adaptability was the most important leadership quality in these times. Roundtable discussions with about 200 executives echoed those findings.
Musa Nxele teaches political economy of development at the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town. He is doing a joint PhD in economics and development policy and practice at Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and at the University of Cape Town, respectively. He also holds masters degrees in economic development and globalization from both universities. His research focuses on the political economy of industrial development and investment. Before moving to tertiary education teaching in 2017, Nxele worked in the private sector in the fields of investment banking and industrial development consulting. He dedicates his life to the transformation of people and societies, driven by hope and the incredible story of his hometown, Soweto.
The study of resilience shifts the focus of research to processes of recovery, adaptation, or transformation when a system is under stress. For example, Masten (2014), a psychologist, has taken a much broader systems view of resilience than is typical of her field. She writes:
By 2030 more than three quarters of the world's absolute poor are projected to live in Africa. Accelerating economic growth is key to rising incomes on the continent, and central to this challenge is establishing activities that are capable of employing large numbers of unskilled workers, that can raise productivity through innovation, and that can power growth through exports. Such structural transformation is a key driver of growth, and between 1950-1996 about half of the economic catch-up by developing countries (led by East Asia) was due to rising productivity in manufacturing combined with growing agricultural output. Africa, however, has lagged behind.In 2014, the average share of manufacturing in GDP in sub-Saharan Africa hovered around 10 per cent, unchanged from the 1970s, leading some observers to be pessimistic about Africa's potential to catch the wave of sustained rapid growth and rising incomes. Industries Without Smokestacks: Industrialization in Africa Reconsidered challenges this view. It argues that other activities sharing the characteristics of manufacturing- including tourism, ICT, and other services as well as food processing and horticulture- are beginning to play a role analogous to that played by manufacturing in East Asia. This reflects not only changes in the global organization of industries since the early era of rapid East Asian growth, but also advantages unique to Africa. These 'industries without smokestacks' offer new opportunities for Africa to grow in coming decades.
The transformation of communication from mass communication to mass self-communication has contributed decisively to alter the process of social change. As power relationships have always been based on the control of communication and information that feed the neural networks constitutive of the human mind, the rise of horizontal networks of communication has created a new landscape of social and political change by the process of disintermediation of the government and corporate controls over communication. This is the power of the network, as social actors build their own networks on the basis of their projects, values, and interests. The outcome of these processes is open ended and dependent on specific contexts. Freedom, in this case freedom of communicate, does not say anything on the uses of freedom in society. This is to be established by scholarly research. But we need to start from this major historical phenomenon: the building of a global communication network based on the Internet, a technology that embodies the culture of freedom that was at its source. 2b1af7f3a8