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Africa aims to boost its internet access rates by 20% within the next five years

Africa aims to boost its internet access rates by 20% within the next five years


Monday April 29 2024,

KNA by Anita Omwenga

The Connected African Summit 2024 concluded with a strong collaboration on leveraging digital technologies for the African continent’s advancement.

The Connected Africa Summit 2024, which took place from 21st- 25th April at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi featured the presence of ICT and Communication Ministers from 35 African nations, along with ambassadors from various regions.

The summit ended with a joint statement from African ICT Ministers to pursue collaboration with an ambitious goal of increasing internet access rates across Africa by 20 percent in the next five years.

In his closing speech, Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Information, Communication and the Digital Economy in Kenya, Mr. Eliud Owalo said that the delegates at the summit affirmed their dedication to propel Africa into a digital future, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and innovation in driving Africa’s digital transformation.

“Thus we shall train one million young Africans in digital skills by 2027 through capacity building which would advance our shared vision of a digitally- empowered Africa by 2030,” said Owalo.

Furthermore, the Cabinet Secretary said the collaboration will be marked by sustainability, accountably, equality, inclusion, transparency, diversity and respect for human rights, including privacy.

The CS said through the discussions, Africa has managed to scan the operational environment to discern the challenges they have faced in the digital space and what they need to do to overcome those challenges.

The speaker emphasized the importance of recognizing and addressing milestones achieved, as well as identifying and addressing gaps to ensure their sustainability in the long run.

Owalo said moving forward, they have articulated what their critical tech success factors should be and this has informed the thematic areas of the key result areas for Africa as a continent in the technological space.

“We have come up with programmes and activities that we need to implement,” Owalo said adding that they aim to promote greater collaboration and fuel investment towards the achievement of the Africa’s Digital Agenda 2063 and Vision 2030.

He lauded the support of heads of states of the various countries, the government and the legislature saying that most of the ICT interventions the countries in Africa want to introduce require the active support of the Parliament and other key stakeholders.

“Harmonizing digital policies across the continent will fast track Africa’s ambition to position itself as the foremost global trade powerhouse by the African Continental Free Trade Area Framework,” he said.

On the other hand, Zoho Corporation- East Africa Regional Manager Veerakumar Natarajan said the Summit aims to underscore the relevance of the digital economy in driving economic growth and development especially by supporting SME startups and innovations.

“Zoho provides a cloud-based customer relationship management software for managing sales, marketing, and customer support in a single system,” he said adding this helps businesses in East Africa and globally, achieve growth through digital transformation and forging local partnerships.

Natarajan said the summit provided an opportunity for African leaders, investors and businesses like Zoho Corporation to come together, network and harness the vast opportunities presented by the digital economy while addressing barriers and pressing issues affecting our economies.

“The world is constantly evolving, and businesses are trying to keep up. That is where we come in by making technology work for you,” he said adding that the corporation offers an all-in-one suite that runs one’s entire business on Zoho unified cloud software.

The summit was officially closed by the Deputy President of Kenya Rigathi Gachagua who stated that with the advent of the digital revolution, Africa cannot afford to lag behind in harnessing massive opportunities to boost her social economic agenda.

This year’s Connected Africa Summit 2024 theme was ‘Shaping the Future of a Connected Africa: Unlocking Growth beyond Connectivity.’

Courtesy; KNA

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