5 Lessons About Digital Inclusion from the 2020 IFC Sustainability Exchange

There’s not a person alive today who hasn’t experienced the effects of COVID-19. It has brought every government agency to its knees.

As world leaders try to mitigate the damage done to the economy and to people’s lives, the virus continues to wreak havoc. Scores of people have lost their jobs and the creative industry has ground to a halt.

Faced with these unusual challenges, what are we to do as stakeholders in the creative sector? We must continue to collaborate. We must stay connected if we’re going to find a way out of this. Unfortunately, staying connected is a huge challenge for most people in the world today.

UNESCO reports that half of the world’s population has no internet access. This may be the reason why the International Finance Corporation convened the June 17th virtual event to discuss how we can connect the disconnected. Digital explorers, infrastructure experts, social entrepreneurs, community leaders, government champions and other stakeholders from around the world came together to share their insights.

Africa Digital Media Group’s Chair, Dr Laila Macharia and Telkom Kenya’s CEO Mugo Kibati represented us at the event. They shared key insights that not only showed us Kenya’s digital divide but they also gave us hope for a post-COVID world.

Here’s what we learned.

All Telcos are Facing Challenges

Even in the most developed countries, 13.4% of users can’t go online. In developing countries, only 47% can access the internet.

COVID-19 has Exposed the Digital Divide

Everyone is expected to work or study from home and the web has become the answer to our lockdown challenges. What happens to people who can’t participate in the digital ecosystem? We need to do better at connecting the disconnected and Telkom Kenya is doing something about it.

A Digital Future is Afoot

A brighter future is coming and it is digital. Do you have the skills to navigate the new world of emerging trends and disruption? At ADMI, we are not leaving anyone behind. We’re signing people on our ADMI Online platform and equipping them with the digital tools to succeed in the 21st Century.

Story Tellers are Important

Comedians, visual artists, YouTubers, music producers, deejays have kept us entertained during the lockdown. They’ve infused hope in a seemingly hopeless situation and have reminded us that we’re all in this together. We’re finding jobs for our creatives with Africa Digital Media Studios through our distribution platform Vumicentral. 


Intellectual Property is the Wealth of the Future

With technology replacing human labour, conventional jobs will become obsolete. Humanity will be forced to go back to storytelling and that means that the future is very bright for creatives.

We’ve Been Looking at this All Wrong

We can choose to focus on the bright side of this pandemic. For instance, we now have more time to spend with our loved ones. We have more autonomy in the way we work – lack of face to face supervision has enabled employees to think on their feet. Businesses are shifting online and innovating more than before.


The replay of this virtual event is now available. And you can join our global, digital-first community of creatives by signing up for one of our courses.