This is what US-China digital cold war means for Africa

How digital cold war between United States and China is affecting the technological scene in Africa.

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In 2019, Africa hosted two important individuals representing two geopolitical rivals and two different technological paradigms. Jack Dorsey and Jack Ma, co-founders of Twitter and Alibaba respectively, visited African countries that included South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria, meeting tech-savvy youths, the future-holders of African tech. The visit of the two "Jacks" is highly symbolic of US-China digital and technological cold war and rivalry. Is Africa going to choose between US and China or is the continent going to use this opportunity to play a more germane role in the global technological and economic scene?

Restructuring of global economy and infusion of new technology

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 saw several technological breakthroughs globally (such as contactless temperature scanning techniques, face recognition despite wearing face masks), increased e-commerce, as well as the rise in adoption of existing technologies due to restrictions as a result of the pandemic – for example, Zoom downloads saw a massive increase from 56,000 daily downloads in January to 2.13 million daily downloads in March 2020. Additionally, Alibaba nearly doubled its Singles Day gross merchandise sales volume from $38 billion in 2019 to $74.1 billion in 2020.

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