The Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and the Digital Economy, Eliud Owalo has today unveiled the Connected Africa Summit 2024. The Continental Summit will build on the gains of Connected Kenya Summit which has run for the last 12 years under the auspice of the ICT Authority.
The continental summit, scheduled for 2nd – 5th April next year, seeks to drive Africa’s access to ICT and Innovation as it opens up for intra-Africa trade through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) focusing on the digital economy. It brings together industry players from the private, public sector, and academia
The agreement, which has so far been ratified by over 47 African Countries, is expected to leverage ICT and the digital economy to boost trade across the continent while creating new opportunities for the continent’s growing youthful population.
Speaking during the Post Connected Summit Breakfast, CS Owalo reaffirmed the Ministry’s support of the event and indicated that the launch was timely and historic for the continent’s digital partnerships, integration and development.
“We were here basically to embark on preparations for the Connected Africa Summit 2024 which we want to host as a country. That will give us an opportunity to showcase the milestones that we have realised in the digital space as a country. As you are aware, the world is now a small global village because of technology. The Connected Summit 2024 will be an opportunity to share ideas as a continent. The Summit will further create a learning platform for Africa in the technology space so that we learn from each other and also embrace the best-case scenarios.” said the CS.
Noting from the subsequent Connected Summit deliberations, the private and public sector, through partnerships, have managed to fully onboard 9,700 government services on the e-citizen services. Additionally, the Ministry is training youth through the Jitume and Ajira program and will augment the Connected Africa Summit 2024 goals.
Speaking on the country’s connectivity and its impact on the sector’s development, Eng. John Tanui, Principal Secretary, the State Department of ICT and Digital Economy noted that they are accelerating connectivity efforts for enhanced impact on ICT development.
“We are ensuring that every part of the country can be connected. We are working with the private sector to connect internationally through the six submarine cables. On terrestrial, we have connected all the county headquarters and we are ensuring that the broadband through fibre can be enhanced not only through the NOFBI but relying on the fibre.” Eng. Tanui said.
Prof. Edward Kisiang’ani, Principal Secretary, the State Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunications assured stakeholders that the government is committed to driving connectivity through partnerships with the private sector to enhance development.
“The connectivity is being implemented through the government which has so far committed five billion shillings which has been released to help enhance connectivity. We are on course to make it happen through partnerships with the private sector.”
Hon. Sylvanus Maritim, ICT Board Chairman gave an assurance to support the Connected Africa Summit 2024 in looking for financial and partners and the success of the event.
“Connected Summit 2023 was successful and we want to go continental in 2024. ICTA Board has committed to support the event,” he said.
Stanley Kamanguya, CEO of ICT Authority thanked all the partners of 2023 and noted that the Connected Africa Summit 2024 will be a platform to showcase Africa’s ICT developments and connect on the developments.
“We are now scaling the Connected Summit to the continental level because we believe that as a country we have a lot to showcase and we would like to give our private sector partners and local innovators a chance to learn from what other countries are doing.” said Kamanguya.
Under the initiatives initiated by the ICT Authority, the digital economy continues to create opportunities for both employment and wealth creation, Africa must take its place within the wider global economy and we can only do this by developing our capabilities in ICT and Innovation. The Connected Africa Summit 2024 will create the platform for African Innovators to showcase their prowess and tap into the wider global economy.