How COVID Impacted the African & Middle East Local Digital Ecosystem

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A major new survey by BigFive Digital demonstrated how the coronavirus crisis has led to an acceleration of change in the Africa-Middle East local digital community. In particular, it has sparked a greater reliance on digital technology. 

In fact, more than three-quarters have seen their digital dependence grow during the lockdown.

The crisis has certainly produced considerable economic pain as well. More than 70% of respondents report that they have lost customers during the global lockdown brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, more than half (56%) of AME businesses admit to having had to lay off workers as a result of the pandemic. 

The BigFive Digital survey, “The Legacy of Lockdown” was conducted throughout July and August this year among the BigFive community.

A total of 342 responses were generated from all four AME regions covered by BigFive: MENA, East/Central Africa, South/Sub-Saharan Africa, and West Africa. Respondents covered all job roles and functions, from C-level to Operations & Admin, and all responding companies were expected to have a working relationship with the SMME sector.

In addition to the revelations about decreasing customer and workforce numbers, other key findings show a growing reliance on technology and new working practices, including a rush to adopt e-commerce functionality, and the need to invest in digital marketing once the crisis is over

The survey findings formed the backbone of the recent BigFive Virtual Summit, which took place on 4th November. The summit featured an A-list line-up of speakers and brands to talk about the varying challenges facing local small, business communities throughout the AME region, as national economies emerge out of lockdown, and we all face up to new working practices and to doing business in the “new normal” whatever that may look like.


You can access a free copy of the report here: Legacy of Lockdown



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