Transform Africa Summit 2023: on the way to a more digitised and prosperous Africa

Youth IGF
Youth IGF Informs
Published in
4 min readApr 29, 2023
Transform Africa Summit 2023

On 26 April 2023, the Transform Africa Summit organised by Smart Africa kicked off in Zimbabwe. Africa’s leading annual forum brought together leaders from government, the private sector and international organisations to shape the continent’s digital transformation. From the development of groundbreaking technology to the rise of innovative start-ups, this transformation is set to revolutionise how Africans live, work, and interact. This requires strong collaboration and partnership between nations, governments, private organisations, and young digital leaders.

Jenfan Muswere, Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, addressed the need for African governments to support the success of their economies by propelling technological innovation. He explained that in order to innovate and drive economic development, Africa must have access to only the most skilled and educated talent. Muswere spoke of having a bilateral partnership between the public and private sectors in order to ensure both long-term sustainability and trust in the technology used. He underlined the importance of regional coordination, mutual support, and strategic interdependence between countries in order to promote growth and stability.

Swaziland’s King Mswati III hopes that the Transform Africa Summit can serve as a significant landmark in Africa’s journey towards unification and prosperity. King Mswati III believes access to healthcare, education, business opportunities and other services can be improved immensely through the use of ICT. He has encouraged African governments to invest in digital infrastructure and take steps such as establishing cybersecurity protocols and legislation that would protect citizens’ privacy and rights. The success of this African digital revolution will depend heavily on the private and public sector working together and investing in the right infrastructure. This includes access to the internet, advanced hardware and software, and mobile communications. Investing in the right technology to get the most out of it is crucial for Africa. This could help to support local startups, businesses and SMEs, creating jobs and wealth that can feed back into the economy, giving a much needed boost.

Hakainde Hichilema, the Zambian president, spoke about the growth of digital platforms in Africa that are used to facilitate cross-border trade. He emphasised that digitisation is an excellent platform for countries to share goods, services, and ideas, and that embracing cross-border trade could lead to rapid economic growth. Hichilema also mentioned the role of technology in Africa’s agricultural industries, and mentioned the need for governments to invest in farming technology and genetics research that could possibly boost food production. He highlighted the importance of adapting new technologies to increase crop yields and reduce the wastage of labour and resources.

Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, emphasised the importance of digitising Africa, noting that this is essential for creating an environment in which African nations can compete on a level playing field with the rest of the world. To do this, Kagame proposed that all African nations be provided with access to affordable broadband and smart digital devices so that everyone has access to the same technology. Kagame also spoke about the need for digital identity, highlighting the importance of digital security and privacy. He suggested that African countries should align their cyber laws to global standards and adopt international best practices. Another key point in Kagame’s speech was his mention of artificial intelligence (AI). Kagame suggested that AI could be used to revolutionise industry, reduce poverty and hunger, and open up countless new possibilities for Africa. He also highlighted the importance of education and training the next generation of African leaders in the use and development of AI application.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe delivered a speech on Africa’s potential to transform itself through science, technology, and innovation. He outlined special Zimbabwean projects, such as the development of the agritech blueprint for Africa and the e-passport and integrated visa case management system. The Zimbabwean president had inspiring words for the younger generation, encouraging them to use ICTs to create a more prosperous continent.

From the Youth IGF: Highlights of Transform Africa Summit 2023 Day 1.

The Youth IGF urges young Africans to participate more in fora like the Transform Africa Summit. The young have the potential to create an inclusive, prosperous, and technologically-advanced Africa. To do so, they need to be assisted with the necessary skills and knowledge to emerge as leaders and be able to transform their communities. The lack of connectivity is often a big impediment for young people’s development, and should be addressed and eliminated to accelerate digital transformation.

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Youth IGF
Youth IGF Informs

Young leaders about policies & governance. Focus on online safety, cybersec skills, online fakes & all the hottest internet issues. Founder Yuliya Morenets