Digital transformation in Burkina: “Companies must not miss the train”

Digital, this vast hurricane that disrupts all areas of economic activity, seduces some entrepreneurs who perceive it as a mine of insufficiently exploited opportunities. Others, on the other hand, are upset and see it as a threat to business development. The topic was the focus of a panel organized this Friday, June 3, 2022, as part of the 1st edition of the Meeting of Burkinabè leaders.

“In the new world, it is not the big fish that eats the little one; it’s the fastest eating the slowest, ”said Klaus Schwab, on digital transformation. And Prime Minister Wilson Churchill says that “better take the rest by the hand before it takes us by the throat”. According to Dr. Serge Roland Sanon, an expert in electronic communications, these two quotes invite reflection on the subject of digital transformation.

large numbers

In his presentation, he indicated that Burkina Faso had, as of December 31, 2021, 24 million mobile subscribers (most Burkinabè have several chips of the same network or are subscribers to the three networks, ed) of which 13,400,000 subscribe to the mobile Internet. According to the company Kepios, 4 billion and 650 million users worldwide were active on social networks and Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp are among the 17 most popular social media.

According to Dr. Serge Roland Sanon, an expert in electronic communications, information is the oil of the 21st century

Take into account the new professions

“All these statistics lead to the same conclusion. We are dealing with a large amount of data managed by young people, companies, users in general. This large volume of data is the cutting edge of information that is 21st century oil. Meaningful data becomes information, meaningful information becomes knowledge, and knowledge can be transformed into skill. And whoever says skill says profession. There are new professions emerging in companies that we will have to take into account in order to be able to follow the moving train, “said Dr. Serge Roland Sanon.

The three axes to be developed

According to him, any company that wants to start a digital transformation to make up for lost time must develop three main axes. “First of all, it must develop the axis of internal communication, but also external towards partners. We must then focus on the dematerialization of the production process, but also within the administration in the field of human resources and finance. Finally, the last axis to consider must concern everything related to customer relations and marketing. There are quite developed tools that can allow decision makers to have an advantage over their competitors ”.

The panel took place in the presence of the first leaders of the Burkinabè Patronage chaired by Appolinaire Compaoré (in white)

An opportunity with conditions

According to the speaker Adama Ouédraogo, general manager of SATEL SA, the digital revolution is an open opportunity for the business world provided that there is political will and that the financial system rethinks the financing of the digital sector. “The financial system of Burkinabè must realize that digital is a young field with young players who have not had the time to accumulate colossal resources as a guarantee. Entrepreneurs must also realize that digital is a business opportunity that requires a certain organization, synergy and skills, “said the entrepreneur.

According to Adama Ouedraogo, general manager of SATEL SA, the digital revolution is an open opportunity for business

The threats

However, even if he regards the digital revolution as a cultural change in the world, Adama Ouédraogo draws the attention of entrepreneurs to the threats that accompany this revolution. For him, as for the panel moderator, Dieudonné Hubert Millogo, president of the statutory committee of Burkinabè Employers, digitization risks dehumanization.

“Robotization will tend to take the place of part of the workforce. Digital is profoundly changing the job market by creating new professions, especially in the e-commerce sector. Another threat, digitization can set the illiterate aside, ”said Millogo.

Sekou Ouédraogo, electrical engineer presented on space technologies

Training as a starting point

For him, the questions still remain unanswered and deserve to be asked. These are the availability of telecommunications infrastructures, the reduction of Internet access costs and the improvement of speed, the dematerialization of procedures, the awareness and training of business leaders and the integration of digital technologies in school and academic training.

On the latter point, Dr. Yaya Traoré, professor of computer science and representative of the ministry in charge of digital transition, says that the government has addressed the issue of training head-on with the creation of the Virtual University and the Polytechnic School of Ouagadougou and the integration of innovative courses in the universities of Joseph Ki-Zerbo in Ouagadougou and Nazi Boni in Bobo-Dioulasso.

Dr Yaya Traoré presented the efforts made by the government for the introduction of digital technology in university education

Explore space technologies

The digital revolution is not possible without satellite technology, the electrical engineer, Sékou Ouédraogo, who is also president of the African Aeronautics and Space Organization (AASO), recalled the various satellite applications ranging from fighting drought to medical imaging. through remote training. [ Cliquez ici pour lire l’intégralité ]

Herman Frederic Bassole

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