Connected Africa Summit 2024, the Way for Digital Empowerment

By Treezer Michelle Atieno

The conclusion of the Connected Africa Summit marked a pivotal moment for the continent as fourteen African ICT Ministers issued a declaration aimed at fostering a connected and empowered Africa. With a focus on digitalization and digital infrastructure, the Ministers pledged to drive inclusive economic growth of at least 5 percent annually within the next decade.

The summit, which brought together African ICT Ministers, policymakers, private sector stakeholders, and entrepreneurs, facilitated intensive deliberations aimed at accelerating digital transformation across the continent. Discussions delved into critical issues such as infrastructure development, digital trade, AI integration, and policy harmonization.

Kenya’s Deputy President, Rigathi Gachagua, emphasized the urgency of embracing digital transformation, highlighting its potential to propel Africa into a global leader in the digital and innovation space. He underscored the importance of investing in Africa’s youth and leveraging digital innovations for sustainable development.

Throughout the summit, a comprehensive roadmap for digital empowerment was outlined in a joint communique signed by Information, Communication, and Digital Economy Ministers from across Africa and Foreign Ambassadors in attendance. This roadmap encompasses initiatives to integrate digital skills into educational curricula, expand broadband infrastructure, facilitate digital trade through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and promote AI research and innovation.

The declaration sets the stage for significant developments in Kenya and its partners. By prioritizing digital infrastructure and technologies, the declaration aims to unlock opportunities for economic growth, job creation, and innovation. Initiatives such as integrating digital skills into education curricula will equip the youth with the necessary tools to thrive in the digital age, fostering a future-ready workforce.

Furthermore, expanding broadband infrastructure and facilitating digital trade through AfCFTA will enhance connectivity and promote intra-African trade, driving economic development and regional integration. The promotion of AI research and innovation underscores Africa’s potential to lead in emerging technologies, positioning the continent as a global player in the digital economy.

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