When digitalization is on the rise

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By Kenza ERhana

Clearly identified as the 4th industrial revolution, the digitalization of economies around the world is today the main driver of human development. Creator of major economic and social opportunities, it has drastically transformed the national economic and financial landscape. Aware of these challenges, Morocco has implemented several programs aimed at supporting digital development at the national but also continental level.

The health crisis, which appeared at the start of 2020, has undoubtedly accelerated the implementation of new lifestyles and consumption patterns. This had the direct effect of strengthening the sector of new information and communication technologies (NTIC), by acting on companies, banks and public services. There is a clear increase in the dematerialization of services, as well as more and more technological solutions deployed to satisfy consumers.

Stunning figures at the end of the crisis

The latest figures from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) confirm this trend, with the explosion of the Internet market by more than 18% for the fixed network and nearly 10% for the mobile network. This change in consumption patterns breathes new life into the NTIC and strengthens activity in the sector.

The meteoric rise of technology stocks listed on the Casablanca Stock Exchange since 2020 is the perfect illustration of this: M2M (+19.5%), Disway (+102.8%) and Microdata (+12.2%). The company Intelcia has seen its variations reach 85%, by launching on the French-speaking market a new method based on artificial intelligence to support companies during their digital transition. What is all the more edifying is that these figures could have been much better if the semiconductor crisis had not disrupted the production and supply chains.

A continuous transformation of all economic players

The development of online payment, Data and the Cloud have, if not caused, but in any case greatly accelerated, the digital transformation of companies and organizations. By improving profitability in microfinance and promoting the reduction of structural and operating costs, the various players could only take advantage of this revolution and create new production and marketing models.

Read also: Digitization of small businesses: an unavoidable choice with multiple challenges

It was quickly a question of automating complex tasks and benefiting from competitive advantages, by providing new technological solutions. For companies, it was a question of not missing the boat and benefiting from the optimal growth and new perspectives offered by this model.

The dematerialization of services has also benefited the administrative sector with the digital transformation of almost all public services. At the heart of the societal project from 2018 to 2021, these measures have made it possible to strengthen citizens’ confidence in State bodies, but also to facilitate access to them and allow better traceability. The success of these new measures is so great that in 2021, the DGI declares that 86% of gross revenue (excluding TSAV) from tax collection was telepaid, i.e. 130 million Dhs in 7 million operations.

The digitization of the banking sector has also been very rapid with the proliferation of online branches in parallel with physical branches. Corresponding to new international regulations and driven by the digitization of payment, these initiatives have been widely supported by Bank Al-Maghrib.

A prospect of African expansion

By developing its digital system, Morocco also intends to position itself as an African leader in the field. Today in third place after South Africa and Egypt, its desire is to support the various African countries in this direction. The organization in May 2023 of the next One Africa forum dedicated to digital and NTIC in Marrakech, will be an important meeting.

If Morocco’s digital transition is very much under way, new challenges await the sector. By continuing to strengthen social inclusion, particularly in rural areas, through technology, priority is now given to cybersecurity, a new priority for action by the State and the private sector.

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