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“Africa’s economic transformation and prosperity are hinged on the mastery of technology.” These were the sentiments of Paul Kagame, President, Republic of Rwanda when preciding the official opening of the fifth Transform Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
President Kagame said this is the time to build the necessary infrastructure and skills in Africa for the continent to benefit from the digital economy.
While emphasizing on the need for collaboration of African countries as the only way to navigate the complex global dynamics role faced by the continent, the President said: “Africa can only protect our peoples’ interests and increase the size of our market through integration and cooperation.”
The President was accompanied by H.E Uhuru Kenyatta and H.E Ibrahim Boubacar Keita the leaders of Kenya and Mali respectively.
President Kagame said that digital transformation does not mean neglecting traditional business practices and brick and mortar processes, but the ability for Africa to leverage of the existing digital infrastructure and assets to increase its competitiveness at the global marketplace. He reminded the gathering that the African Continental Free Trade Area has now entered force and is aimed at keeping Africa’s industrialization and technology agendas in close alignment. He concluded his address by announcing that the next host for the sixth Transform Africa Summit in 2020 will be the Republic of Guinea and thanked H.E President Alpha Condé for his strong support for Smart Africa, the agency responsible for hosting the event.
The leaders’ summit on boosting Africa’s digital economy followed where there was general consensus that African governments, businesses and individuals must work together in order to adapt to the new reality of technology as a cornerstone of our daily lives.
The conference, whose theme is “Building the Future of Africa” has attracted more than four thousand people from across the world. CIO East Africa’s Chairman and Publisher, Harry Hare and the CEO, Laura Chite were both moderators of various sessions at the Summit.