• May 25, 2024
  • Last Update May 25, 2024 9:23 PM
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CS Owalo advocates for an integrated African digital identity

CS Owalo advocates for an integrated African digital identity


Thursday, April 25, 2024

KNA by Joseph Ng’ang’a

The creation of a whole of Africa uniform digital identity that fits into each country’s digital infrastructure will be a key ingredient in fostering intra Africa connectivity.

Information, Communications and the Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eliud Owalo said that having a uniform digital identity would ensure that Africa as a continent moves together in growing its digital economy and fulfilling the aspirations of The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Speaking in Nairobi on Wednesday during the launch of the Transform Africa Summit (TAS) 2024, Owalo said that African countries needed to have a discussion on digital public infrastructure, digital skilling and digital jobs, digital entrepreneurship, data centers and digital identities.

“We have been doing our own initiatives at individual country level but we need to move forward in tandem as one united Africa digital economy,” said Owalo.

He further said “When it comes to policies, laws and regulations, we need to have them in a way that we speak to each other as opposed to being discordant to each other.”

The CS explained that the net total of such an initiative is that Africa would think and act jointly and leverage each other’s strength, enjoy economies of scale, reduce the unit cost and have better bargaining power in the global digital market.

“I want to give you the assurance that the Kenyan government is committed to host the Transform Africa Summit (TAS) 2024. We have got the highest level of commitment from our President William Ruto who is our key digital transformation change agent leading from the front,” said Owalo.

Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary (PS) Prof. Edward Kisiang’ani said that the idea of a single digital market for Africa was critical since it would help the continent blur boundaries.

“Boundaries push African countries into silos making it difficult to tackle our common problems,” said Prof. Kisiang’ani adding that having a single digital market for Africa supports the calls of the African Union 2063 as well as Kenya’s local digital economy agenda.

The PS said that there have been talks that Africa is the future but with the digital transformation taking place in the continent, Africa is fast becoming the present because of its dynamic nature.

ICT and the Digital Economy PS Eng. John Tanui said that the Summit was a great platform for the Kenyan, East African and Africa’s enterprises to address the most challenging issues facing them.

“Initiatives such as this summit will ensure that the continent is not left behind in the adoption of emerging technologies. We want to see African governments addressing the issues of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the growth of digital platforms and how to work together in emerging areas such as the semiconductors industry, cloud infrastructure among others,” said Eng. Tanui.

He called for synchronization of policies to enable the correct use and sharing of resources across the continent.

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Board of Directors Chairperson Mary Wambui Mungai said that the pace at which Kenya and the continent as a whole adopts emerging and disruptive technologies would determine the quality of life of the citizens.

She supported the calls for a unified African digital infrastructure saying that it would enhance connectivity within the continent by lowering the cost of doing business.

Ms. Mungai who was recently elected as the Vice Chairperson of the Council of African Regulators (CAR) in Malawi said “When I was in Malawi and wanted to call Nairobi, I was informed that the call will cost me an average of Sh450 per minute which is very expensive and a hindrance to African interconnectivity and intra business.”

CA Director General David Mugonyi said that the summit would offer an opportunity for peers, industry regulators and policy makers to interact and discuss ways of creating value and impact on communities through ICT.

“It is through sharing ideas and experiences that we are able to converge at a common ground and agree on what we have to do to achieve our collective aspirations as a continent,” said Mugonyi.

The Transform Africa Summit (TAS) 2024 will be held on August 28-30, 2024, at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi, Kenya.

Courtesy; KNA

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