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Digitalization and Disruptive Technologies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Regions

Ahmed Ghoneim () and Dina Mandour ()
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Ahmed Ghoneim: Cairo University
Dina Mandour: Cairo University

No 1638, Working Papers from Economic Research Forum

Abstract: This paper aims at investigating the role of digitalization and the so-called disruptive technologies (DTs) in Middle East North Africa (MENA) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) regions. It builds on a number of studies that have been devoted to investigate the impact of digitalization on individual countries in both regions, as well as a couple of regional reports. The paper tackles two main aspects of digitalization and DTs in MENA and SSA. The two main aspects are readiness(determinants of the sets of the two regions, MENA and SSA, to adopt new technologies), and the effects of adopting digitalization and DTs, or the lack thereof, on different aspects of the economies of both regions. The study pinpoints the gap between MENA and SSA, both in terms of readiness indicators, as well as effects. The study concludes that digitalization, so far, has limited positive impact on both SSA and MENA regions. The positive impact can be larger provided that the determinants or preconditions for allowing it to play this role are present. Such preconditions include the required infrastructure (both physical and data), the appropriate institutional and legal framework, the needed human capital, etc

Pages: 27
Date: 2023-04-20, Revised 2023-04-20
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Published by The Economic Research Forum (ERF)

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