The adoption of social media is assisting SMEs in driving Africa’s economic growth.

A Genesis Analytics report shows that social media platforms assist accelerate economic growth and opportunities across the continent especially in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Mauritius. 

According to the study, Small and Medium sized Businesses drive the continent’s economic  development. They create employment, boost gender equality and intra-regional trade in Africa. 

The study shows that digital platforms may have a very crucial role in the continent’s development since many countries have begun embracing digital transformation. 

The study surveyed SMBs that utilize Facebook apps and found out that they had a younger workforce, with 45 percent of employees under 30. Furthermore, SMBs utilizing Facebook applications were more likely to be controlled by women, and manufacturing SMBs identified the potential to reach new overseas markets as the most advantageous aspect of the apps.

“84% of surveyed SMBs reported that Facebook apps have been important for their business growth. This reinforces our commitment to providing the access and skills that help people use Facebook apps to increase employment opportunities, incomes, gender equity, and trade.” Facebook’s Director of Africa Public Policy at Facebook, Kojo Boakye.

Why the Genesis Study?

According to Ryan Short, a partner at Genesis Analytics, the survey sheds much-needed light on how the continent’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are utilizing digital tools and platforms.

“It shows empirically that the use of digital tools can drive economic growth by bringing more women into the formal economy; creating economic opportunity for young people; and boosting intra-African trade. We urge policymakers and digital platforms alike to understand these opportunities and to create an optimal environment for SMBs to thrive using digital tools and social media.” Ryan Short, Genesis Analytics Partner.

Existing barriers to be reevaluated in the Digital Transformation Era for SMEs.

Additionally the study showed that there are policies that are barriers and need to reevaluated in order to boost considerable growth. These barriers include high internet and data costs as well as a lack of trust in data privacy.

To overcome these obstacles, governments and private firms will need to work together to create a digital environment that will enable small businesses to take advantage of Africa’s vast prospects.