Nairobi Summit discusses impact of digital technology on Africa’s economy

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Principal Secretary ICT & Innovation Eng. Victor Kyalo makes a point at the Innovation Summit-Africa on Tuesday. He is flanked by Safaricom Chief Innovation Officer Kamal Bhattacharya (middle) and Carlos Lopes, senior advisor to the director general Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.

The role played by digital technology in the development of Africa’s economy took centre stage at the Innovation Summit Africa held recently in Nairobi.

The Economist held the meeting under the  theme: ‘Digital Transformation for Accelerated Growth,’. The meeting sought to explain the current gaps in Africa’s development; particularly in key areas such as finance and telecommunications; and explore how the continent can use digital technologies to reshape its businesses and societies.

“The Innovation Summit will look at the incredible impact that new technologies and business models are having on Africa”.

Jonathan Rosenthal, the Africa editor of The Economist, said.

The event, hosted by The Economist Events, brought  together players and stakeholders in Africa’s digital space.

Stakeholders including:
  • Principal Secretary for Innovation in the Ministry of ICT Engineer Victor Kyalo;
  • Safaricom Chief Innovation Officer Kamal Battachary;
  • Nailab chief executive officer Sam Gichuru;
  • Bidhaa Sasa founder David Disch.

The summit also featured presentations by BitPesa chief executive officer Elizabeth Rossiello, Mashable chief data scientist Haile Owusu, International Finance Corporation Africa head of fintech Rostan Schwab and Afrotech director Jonathan Ledgard.

Kenya’s position as a leading digital hub in Africa, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), the potential of fintech services and how Africa’s youth employment problem can be addressed through digital technology were some of the topics discussed.

“The event brings together an extraordinary group of people to talk about how African tech startups are going to power economic growth and contribute to solving some of the continent’s most pressing problems,” Mr Rosenthal said.

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