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‘COVID-19 single biggest catalyst for a digital transformation in Africa’, says Cellulant co-CEO

In the wake of the current crisis, digitizing has moved from being a posterity agenda debated in boardrooms to a survival game with many casualties, writes Ken Njoroge, co-CEO of Cellulant, in an exclusive op-ed for African Business.

As governments continue to implement curfews and lockdowns in order to enforce social distancing, consumers are now engaging with businesses through online channels, he says.

Large consumer segments especially the older generation to whom this whole digital world held little appeal are now becoming active users.

Within just weeks, the world has been flung into “digitization unusual mode”  as businesses find ways to survive and ensure continuity and the COVID-19 crisis has become the single biggest catalyst for a digital transformation and has moved digitization from a niche market into mass adoption.

The level of digitization in Africa has generally been quite slow.

For all the hype that has been surrounding digital transformation in the past, most industries across Africa have generally been very conservative. This is likely to change and very quickly.

“There is an immense opportunity for business to re-invent their business models to enable the delivery of their goods and services online,” he says.

“For us in the payments business, we have to prepare for the inevitable change in consumer behaviour which is likely to spur a lot more digitization for a whole range of services to ensure that the payment platforms and the customer journey are able to cater for different sectors in the new context.”

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