ISBN 9789982434386
Pages 82
Dimensions 210x148mm
Illustrations Colour Illustrations
Published 2023
Publisher BATCH Solutions, Zambia
Format Paperback

Digital Zambia

Mobile Money & More

by Karin Moder

“Digital Zambia” tells a story about digitalization in Zambia – a land-locked country, rich in natural resources, with 19-20 million inhabitants in Southern Africa. But is this a relevant topic in a country which - like most countries in Southern African - still faces “serious” challenges to adequately feed its citizens according to the Global Hunger Index (GHI)1 ? And is it a story worth telling and sufficiently rich in a world where AI-based innovations like ChatGPT can win one million registrations in just five days and standards of technological sophistication are seemingly shifted in the blink of an eye? Our answer is yes. Yes it is worthwhile exploring “Digital Zambia”, even if by common standards digitalization is more advanced on other continents and even if some other African countries fare better in rankings of digital transformation. Zambians are generally tech- savvy as one of our interview partners stated, but they have to come up with a number of challenges that are not common in the so-called developed world, e.g. the major power-cuts lasting between 4 and 12 hours per day, which Zambia had to face from late January to end of February 2023. Such impediments are likely to slow down the process of digital transformation, but access to new technologies such as satellite-based internet services might counterbalance some of the challenges, especially the marked deficits in broadband connectivity for users in remote areas of Zambia. In June 2023, satellite connectivity provider Starlink has been awarded an operating license by the Zambian Government, following tests across nine Zambian provinces. Zambia’s ranking in the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL), which we will feature in the first chapter, has decreased from 2021 to 2022, but so has China’s. We will look at the bigger picture through the DQL lens as well as the Inclusive Digital Economy Scorecard (IDES) and hear about relative strengths as well as shortcomings. After that we will shed light on digitization in selected areas such as e-finance, e-commerce, e-education and e-government. On this journey we will happily showcase Mobile Money as part of the e-finance landscape, since it is considered a major success story in Zambia’s digital transformation and a noteworthy contributor to economic development through financial inclusion. The information provided in this e-book comes in different shapes, including figures, graphs, historic reviews, survey results and full-length interviews besides a number of screenshots from relevant websites and internet portals. Thus, we will provide interesting and engaging insights into “Digital Zambia” – both to Zambian and non-Zambian readers.

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