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World Bank’s analysis reveals Djibouti’s digital economy potential and challenges, urging multi-sectoral collaboration for growth. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The World Bank unveiled an extensive analysis titled “Djibouti Digital Economy Diagnostic,” examining the digital economy’s status in Djibouti 

The study delves into the country’s digital challenges and prospects, underscoring the critical role of digital infrastructure, the urgency to enhance broadband access and affordability, and the essential digital competencies needed for socio-economic advancement. It underscores the significance of telecommunications, data infrastructure, digital platforms, financial services, and entrepreneurship as the digital economy’s core pillars. The report offers a snapshot of the present situation in these domains and proposes directions for their advancement.

Despite Djibouti’s strides in the digital realm, obstacles remain in fully harnessing its tech potential. Constraints in ICT investment and hurdles in digital service affordability and access are notable impediments. Yet, the creation of the Multisectoral Regulatory Authority of Djibouti and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Innovation (MDENI) signal the government’s resolve to surmount these challenges and steer digital progress.

Fatou Fall, the World Bank’s resident representative in Djibouti, remarked, “Djibouti has made significant progress in its digital infrastructure, but there is still room for improvement in terms of affordability, quality and access to digital services. Despite being one of the smallest countries in Africa in terms of size and population, Djibouti plays a crucial role in providing high-speed internet access to neighboring countries.”

The document advocates for a concerted effort from the government, the private sector, and civil society to confront the challenges and harness the opportunities for cultivating Djibouti’s digital economy. It stresses the importance of collaboration, capacity enhancement, and the formulation of explicit governance structures to catalyze digital evolution and realise long-term goals.

The report also touches on data governance and the growing utilisation of data to more deeply comprehend citizen needs and bolster public confidence.

Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, Djibouti’s minister of economy and finance, responsible for Industry, stated, “The government is dedicated to tackling these challenges and propelling digital transformation forward. Our national flagship initiative, the ‘Smart Nation program,’ represents a move toward a more unified and comprehensive approach of digital transformation. We are devoted to capitalising on Digital Dividends, with a particular emphasis on creating job opportunities for our youth.”

Furthermore, the report accentuates the workforce’s digital skill imperative. It advocates for the establishment of all-encompassing training schemes for public servants and the enhancement of digital literacy among the broader populace, notably recent graduates and business founders.

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