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MENA’s digital economy projected to hit $400 billion by 2030

Edtech and healthtech sectors to have a combined market size of $20 billion by 2030

MENA’s digital economy projected to hit $400 billion by 2030
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

The pandemic spurred the digital economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and it is now estimated to be a staggering $400 billion by 2030, according to a report.

The region’s digital economy will undergo significant structural changes in the years leading up to the milestone, according to the report, with edtech and healthtech emerging as top performers, with a projected ten-fold increase in their combined market size to $20 billion by 2030 from $2 billion at the moment. 

However, sectors like online travel, food, and bill payment will experience a decline in growth rates.

The region’s Gen Z is anticipated to grow more economically engaged this decade, with their contribution increasing three times to account for 30% of the total online retail spend from their present 10% share.

While online retail will continue to be the largest digital driving segment, clocking around a 20% annual growth rate in the next decade, verticals within online retail, such as food and fashion, are predicted to develop faster.

The study predicted a future reduction in the contribution from online electronics sales, which were among the top performers in the early years of the digital revolution.

According to the report, the expansion of edtech services will be fueled by skill development, with working people continuing their education to stay competitive and schools and higher education institutions incorporating new technology and applications into their curricula.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have made major contributions to global expansion. Future growth is anticipated to be more evenly distributed, with the two leaders accounting for half of the region’s digital economy.

According to the survey, the rest of MENA is improving in digital adoption, with time spent on digital channels — a sign of a growing digital economy — in these nations approaching 8 hours per day on par with that of the UAE and KSA.

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