some 4,000 delegates from around Africa and beyond have descended on Kigali for the 4th edition of the annual Transform Africa Summit.
The year’s discussions will be held under the theme, ‘Accelerating Africa’s Single Digital Market’.
The gathering is a platform to learn from some of the world’s top tech brains, and share experiences on how to keep abreast with the ever-changing technological landscape.
The year’s theme could not have come at a better time considering that the event takes place at a time Africa is trying to create a continental free trade area.
The proposed free trade area framework, known as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), was signed by 44 African countries more than a month ago in Kigali and countries are currently undergoing the ratification process, with Rwanda having already ratified the agreement.
The AfCFTA, widely hailed as a major milestone, is a critical instrument in an effort to unlock the continent’s potential.
ICT, as an enabler for economic development, will play a key role in the implementation of the free trade deal. By leveraging digital technologies, African countries can better integrate their trade ecosystems and easily harness the benefits that come with a continental free trade area.
Delegates at this week’s Transform Africa Summit should explore this subject widely with view to use digital technologies to help fast-track the implementation of the continent’s flagship projects, like AfCFTA.
One of the highlights of the Transform Africa Summit is the Miss Geek competition, a contest that seeks to encourage African girls to partake in the effort to find sustainable solutions to challenges facing society using technology.
The contest is also designed to encourage girls to join careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. This initiative deserves support from all the actors, including governments and the industry, as it offers an opportunity to the continent to grow a tech savvy generation that partakes in actively addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing the African people.
The summit is an opportunity for young and aspiring innovators and startups to pitch their ideas with a goal of securing funding for their projects.
It is not every day that one finds potential financiers in the technology field and brains to match under one roof. The youth, in particular, should make the most of this golden opportunity by showcasing their innovations, learning from experienced players in the ICT field and creating strategic partnerships.