The New Economy Is Digital: What Does That Have To Do With Me?

“ We project in the near future a digital economy that will bring about massive deviations in society. We simply have no way of knowing how deep and far-reaching these deviations will be".– Tank L, MD Huawei Technologies Nigeria.
If you have heard about digital economy and you have no idea what it means, you're not alone. In fact you may be in the majority. As a recent reader on this topic myself, i wish to expose this term 'digital economy' to as many persons as i can and discuss on what it means for our "traditional' Nigerian economy.

How to define a digital economy

A digital economy refers to an economy that is based on digital technologies, although we increasingly perceive this as conducting business through markets based on the internet and the World Wide Web. It is an umbrella term used to describe markets that focus on digital technologies.

 It refers to the full range of our economic, social and cultural activities supported by the Internet and related information and communications technologies. 
“These typically involve the trade of information goods or services through electronic commerce. It operates on a layered basis, with separate segments for data transportation and applications” (OECD 2012).

For ease of understanding, an economy firstly is a sum of actions which makes satisfaction of wants possible and in that a digital economy is a more effective and efficient alternative to the workings of a traditional economy.  

It involves the utilization of the digital space and digital technologies to make these possible.
The term ‘digital economy’ was originally coined by Don Tapscott in his 1995 best selling book “The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the age of Networked Intelligence”.

 In which he reveals how the new technology and business strategies are transforming not only business processes but also the way products and services are created and marketed, the structure and goals of the enterprise, the dynamics of competition, and all the rules for business success.

What does it have to do with you?

Digital economy in Nigeria

According to Nigerian Communications Commission, Nigeria has a total internet population of 91 million. Early this year, the Nigerian tech ecosystem was valued at $2billion making it the largest in Africa ( That's about 10% of Nigeria’s 2017 budget but a lesser fraction of the 2.9 trillion dollars estimated value of the global digital sector). 

But what does this mean to you ? A student, a farmer, a politician or even an entrepreneur, it means the world is gearing towards a more profitable and improved way of doing everything and but something is going to give.

  • For the student, the new economy is digital and it starts with the internet. It means more access to information for assignments and course projects. It means you have greater access to resources that otherwise could not reach and attend classes prepared a million miles from you.
  • For the politician, it means that the processes of governance can be made less bureaucratic and more efficient, transparent and poised to better serve the people. It means better project monitoring, better citizen database and direct feedback from your people.
  • For the business, it opens a whole new world of possibilities like cloud computing and automation machines, mobile systems etc. It is more profit for more efficiency and effectiveness, its more customer and employee satisfaction. Its a more to boost your customer base without building branches.


Much like what Ecobank and many other Nigerian banks are aready making plans to' increase fivefold in the next five years' the bank's CEO Charles Kie says 'they are closing branches to cut costs and increase access of its clients to the internet and mobile-phone applications'. This can only be attained via the adoption of digital technology.

Since the coming of the internet the culture and processes of business and core beliefs of the traditional economy is changing. To achieve better productivity in life as in business, the traditional economy must be disrupted to create a better one. 

We can make this new economy to our advantage or allow ourselves to be run out of business by its coming. Whatever we chose we must act fast and soon. 

Next Week: I shall write more on Digital economy    "The New Economy is Digital : More Profits or Taxes" where we discuss on what taxes mean for businesses and governments in a digital economy.

[Visit us again next saturday at 9:45 GMT+1]


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