African Ict Ministers Issue ‘the Nairobi Declaration’, Commiting To Foster A Connected And Empowered Africa, As Connected Africa Summit 2024 Wraps Up In Nairobi

  Thu, 25 Apr 2024
Technology F- H.E Rigathi Gachagua, Deputy President, Kenya together with Africa Tech and Digital Economy Ministers during the official closing ceremony of Connected Africa Summit 2024
F- H.E Rigathi Gachagua, Deputy President, Kenya together with Africa Tech and Digital Economy Ministers during the official closing ceremony of Connected Africa Summit 2024

Nairobi; Thursday, 25th April 2024: Fourteen Ministers in charge of Technology in Africa, have issued the Nairobi Declaration on Fostering a Connected and Empowered Africa.

The Ministers who convened at the Ministerial Exclusive Round Table Forum at Connected Africa Summit 2024 under the leadership of Ministry of ICT & Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary, Eliud Owalo, deliberated on harnessing the potential of digital technologies for the advancement of the continent, endorsing a collaborative vision for a digitally empowered Africa.

Emphasizing the centrality of digitalization and digital infrastructure to modern economies, the Ministers pledged to harness digital infrastructure and technologies to drive inclusive economic growth of at least 5% annually within the next decade.

The declaration comes as curtains closed on the Connected Africa Summit 2024 which kicked off on Monday at Uhuru Gardens.

The summit, a convergence of African ICT Ministers, policymakers, private sector stakeholders, and entrepreneurs, was held under the overarching theme "Shaping the Future of a Connected Africa: Unlocking Growth Beyond Connectivity," and involved intensive deliberations aimed at accelerating digital transformation across the continent.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Deputy President Hon. Rigathi Gachagua emphasized the urgency of embracing digital transformation, asserting that "the future is now." He highlighted the rapid pace of technological change and the challenges it presents to policymakers and the private sector alike. Gachagua stressed the importance of investing in youth and equipping them with digital skills to navigate the evolving landscape.

Emphasizing the pivotal role of youth, he advocated for robust investments in digital education and skills development to harness Africa's potential in the digital age. "Our people, especially the youth are a potent resource that we are investing in for our Continent to be an equal player in the global digital and innovation space, including in Artificial Intelligence. This underscores why this Summit is timely and strategic in propelling the dream of Africa Rising- where No One is Left Behind." he said.

Gachagua further highlighted Africa's unique opportunity to leverage digital innovations for sustainable development, “Africa stands at the forefront of digital transformation, poised to leverage agile and sustainable digital solutions for inclusive growth and development.' He emphasized our continent's inherent advantage in embracing these technologies, positioning Africa as a global leader in shaping the future of digital transformation."

Addressing the continent's infrastructure challenges, Gachagua expressed optimism about Africa's potential to leverage digital technologies for economic growth. He emphasized Africa's advantage in the digital age, citing the continent's ability to leapfrog traditional industrial models and embrace sustainable digital solutions.

The Deputy President also called for collaborative efforts to bridge the digital divide, acknowledging the presence of international development partners and private sector companies committed to supporting Africa's digital transformation. “Together, with the support of international development partners and private sector companies, we can accelerate Africa's digital transformation,” he asserted.

Throughout the summit, discussions delved into critical issues such as infrastructure development, digital trade, AI integration, and policy harmonization. In a joint communique signed by the Information, Communication, and Digital Economy Ministers from across Africa and Foreign Ambassadors who attended the event, the leaders outlined a comprehensive roadmap for digital empowerment, encompassing agreements, commitments, and policy resolutions.

These include initiatives to integrate digital skills into educational curricula, expand broadband infrastructure, facilitate digital trade through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and promote AI research and innovation. The Ministers and stakeholders also reaffirmed their commitment to fostering a conducive ecosystem for digital innovation and entrepreneurship.