In addition to the diagnosis, the report enumerates some ways for these technologies to serve the sustainable development on the continent.
"Technology, as we have seen in other sectors, is critical to affecting change and driving development. It is bringing countries closer together, reducing barriers to trade and offering a window of opportunity to ‘digital native’ youth entrepreneurs at the vanguard of innovation applied to different economic sectors. In agriculture, digitalization could be a game changer in boosting productivity, profitability and resilience to climate change", said Michael Hailu, director of CTA.
Digitalisation, focusing on not individual ICTs but the application of these technologies to entire value chains, is a theme that cuts across all of CTA’s work.
"In youth entrepreneurship, we are fostering a new breed of young ICT ‘agripreneurs’. In climate-smart agriculture multiple projects provide information that can help towards building resilience for smallholder farmers. And in women empowerment we are supporting digital platforms to drive greater inclusion for women entrepreneurs in agricultural value chains", he explains.
To avoid undermining sustainable and inclusive development in Africa, the report calls for appropriate policies and investments.
"To capitalize on this opportunity we need to ensure that development is coordinated that, best-practices are shared and a collaborative approach to rolling out and scaling-up digital innovation, primarily focused on increasing use by farmers, is adopted", suggests the document.
The transformation of agriculture is at the heart of the priorities of African governments in their efforts to address the challenges of food and nutrition insecurity, climate change, youth unemployment and economic growth.
The report recommends that with the right policies, innovation and investment, the continent’s agriculture could be transformed into a powerhouse not only to feed a growing population but to create decent employment for millions of young people.