In Summary

  • The purpose of the connected Africa summit 2024
  • Africa’s internet penetration gaps
  • Role of digital technology in driving Africa’s access to intra-Africa trade

The inaugural continental ICT summit has brought together African heads of state, first ladies, African ICT ministers, policymakers, global ICT firms, entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators to develop a roadmap to address the challenges facing the continent through ICT and innovation.

The theme being ‘Shaping the Future of a Connected Africa: Unlocking Growth Beyond Connectivity’ and it focus on Africa’s ICT priorities guided by the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063.

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The purpose of the Connected Africa Summit 2024

President Ruto Officially opened the Connected Africa 2024 Summit, Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi/Photo Courtesy

 

CS ICT, Eliud Owalo, noted that African countries face similar challenges in fostering the growth of the ICT sector and need to formulate cross-cutting policies to attract investment and spur job creation.

“The Connected Africa Summit 2024, seek to address the various gaps and challenges facing the continent ranging from policy formulation to inadequate investment in infrastructure,” Owalo said.

The continental summit, has focus on the role of digital technology in driving Africa’s access to intra-Africa trade through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which focuses on the digital economy.

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Africa’s internet penetration gaps

Africa’s internet penetration currently stands at just over 36 percent, with only 473 million active internet users, 278 million users accessing the internet through their mobile phones.

According to the African Union, over 300 million people live 50 km away from an active fiber optic connection, illustrating the continent’s large infrastructure gap.

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“While many see the ICT-related gaps on the continent ranging from infrastructure to access to devices as a challenge facing the continent, the Connected Africa Summit 2024 seeks to position these gaps as a key opportunity for the continent and like-minded development partners and investors,” ICT Authority CEO Stanley Kamanguya said.

The Summit act as a platform where African leaders can position the African tech agenda in readiness for the UN Summit of the Future to be held in September 2024 and determine their role in green technology and governance of generative AI for African realities.

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