Internet availability has helped with job creation and the reduction of poverty in African countries like Nigeria, the World Bank has disclosed.

Despite this development, many people are not taking advantage of the benefits of the Internet, according to the global bank.

In its ‘Digital Africa: Technological Transformation for Jobs’ report, the bank said, “These impacts attributable to faster internet are net positive job increases and sizable in magnitude, rather than displacement of jobs from unconnected areas.”

It states that faster internet adoption is skill-biased, meaning internet adoption encourages more-skilled jobs.

In the report, it was revealed that workers who lack skills are at a disadvantage because of their lack of education.

The report stated, “Some of the increase in jobs is explained by net firm entry (about 23 per cent in South Africa), including a large increase in firm entry and a decrease in the firm exit of a similar magnitude.

“Another part of the jobs increase appears to be due to increased productivity in existing manufacturing firms (in Ethiopia). Enterprises in Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania export more when they have access to faster Internet, communicate with clients more, and train employees more, according to World Bank Enterprise Survey data.”

The Washington-based bank revealed that in Nigeria, Internet availability increased labour force participation and wage employment by three percentage points and one percentage point respectively.

It said, “The job estimates from Nigeria show that internet availability has positive impacts: labour force participation and wage employment increase by three percentage points and one percentage point, respectively, after three or more years of exposure in areas with internet availability relative to those with no coverage.”

According to it, the Internet-induced improvement in labour market outcomes is especially large for women.

The global bank further stated that Internet availability also caused large and positive increases in household consumption levels. This was due to households with at least one year of mobile broadband availability increasing their total consumption by about six per cent.

The World Bank said, “These effects increase to about nine per cent after three or more years of mobile internet coverage. Mobile internet availability also reduces the proportion of households below the poverty line—a reduction driven by higher food and non-food consumption in rural households.

“The proportion of households below the extreme poverty line decreases by four percentage points after one year of gaining mobile internet availability and by seven per cent after three years.”

According to the bank, Nigeria and other African countries need better and more jobs for their growing population and digital technologies can offer a way out.

“They do so by helping all people work better and learn as they work, catalysing the adoption and productivity of complementary technologies, and thereby boosting competitiveness, production, and jobs across the economy.”

In Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries, more than 23 million people (almost 2 million per month) enter the job market.

Culled from

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