The Power of Connections

In this month’s edition of IFC Insights, we focus on the power of connections. While the1680782231878 proliferation of new technologies has increased the ease and possibilities of connectivity across the globe, the access to and uptake of these tools has not always been evenly spread. 

In a survey covering seven countries across Africa, we consider how, despite the strong associations between digital technologies and higher productivity, less than 7 percent of microenterprises have adopted smartphones and computers. Over 70 percent of these business owners suggest that there is ‘no need’ for internet-enabled tech, highlighting a major development hurdle to be overcome.

Connections are also key for the pharmaceutical industry on the continent, as it readjusts to a post-COVID business environment. Dr. Morena Makhoana, CEO of South Africa-based vaccine manufacturer Biovac, shares the importance of partnerships for the sector and offers thoughts on how to forge a future of commercially sustainable vaccine manufacturing in Africa. 

We also visit the Maldives, where a submarine cable system is helping to improve connectivity across the 1,200 scattered islands that make up the country. This has contributed to a momentum of inclusive growth which promises better opportunities for all Maldivians.

Finally, we look forward to the building of connections and partnerships that will take place at the 2023 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund from April 10-16 in Washington, DC.

Enjoy reading! 

— The Editors