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Technology offers an opportunity to realise Africa’s integration faster and smarter

As you are aware, the Economic Forum of the Transform Africa Summit originates from the desire for African governments and the private sector to create a single continent-wide digital market. This market will enable Africa to fully benefit from the digital transformation, attract large scale investments and create jobs.

Africa has the fastest growing youth population with more 140 million young people now than a decade ago. By 2028, the African continent will be hosting almost one billion people under the age of 25. This young population presents an opportunity to optimize the adoption of technologies as the younger generation is eager to embrace the digital era.


This is where we see the value for start-ups which play, globally, a significant role in economic development. Across the world, start-ups are currently being championed by the youth who are actively creating jobs and transforming their communities. They bring new ideas to the table, much needed to stimulate innovation and generate competition.


Technology is very important. It offers an opportunity to realise the integration of the continent faster and smarter. In addition, technology breaks the usual borders that have traditionally defined our countries.


Because of this importance, the Government of Rwanda, through our National Strategy for Transformation, 2017-2024, aims at ensuring digital literacy for all youth, especially 16 to 30 years, by 2024. This will be possible by implementing a national digital literacy program. This program has the objective of achieving digital literacy of at least 60% among adults by 2024.

For this reason, discussions which will take place today are timely and crucial. But beyond conversations, the collaboration and partnerships carry the potential to change the course of the history of our continent.

I would like to urge all participants to this Economic Forum to use their expertise and advise our continent on how we can accelerate sustainable socio-economic transformation and increase entrepreneurship to drive growth, reduce poverty and create wealth. I am sure your deliberations will be full of ideas that will be discussed in the 2019 Transform Africa that will be officially opened tomorrow.

I would like to highlight that today Smart Africa enjoys a strong political will to change what has been the status quo for a long time. In this regard, I wish to reiterate the commitment of the Government of Rwanda to the realisation of Smart Africa’s vision.

This article was extracted from Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente’s keynote address at the opening of the second Economic Forum of the Transform Africa Summit 2019 on May 14 in Kigali.

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