Chapter 3: Technological leapfrogging in Africa: critical success factors to drive inclusive growth
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In a world that has grown weary of COVID-19 and its debilitating socioeconomic effects, many (particularly developing) countries are anxious to revitalise their economies. The digital era or Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) offers myriad opportunities for countries to fast-track their growth and development by becoming more productive and competitive and by expanding the job pool, thereby giving their economies much-needed momentum. COVID-19 demonstrated how quickly the world was able to adapt to virtual forms of communication and work, with technology playing a central role in this transition. However, the pandemic also exposed deep economic and technological divisions in the world, with many countries - particularly in Africa -at risk of being left further behind as the 4IR gathers speed. In the face of many countries' developmental shortcomings and relative digital isolation, the concept of technological leapfrogging is gaining ground. As Africa is far from homogeneous, however, we emphasise that context matters. If technological leapfrogging is to gain traction in Africa, countries' unique characteristics and varying levels of development need to be taken into consideration.

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