Welcome to the second part of the Transform Africa Summit 2023 post-event report. The summit, held annually and organized by Smart Africa, brings together leaders, policymakers, innovators, and stakeholders from across Africa and beyond to discuss and strategize leveraging technology for the continent’s development.
In this section, we delve into key discussions surrounding the stimulation of digital services demand, the significance of public-private partnerships, and the acceleration of national clouds for driving digital transformation in Africa.
Stimulating Demand for Digital Services, Especially Among the Youth in Africa
Africa’s youth population is a valuable asset with immense potential for driving digital transformation on the continent. During the Transform Africa Summit, experts emphasized the need to stimulate demand for digital services, particularly among the youth. By creating an enabling environment that fosters digital literacy, skills development, and affordable access to technology, Africa can empower its youth to participate fully in the digital economy. Initiatives such as entrepreneurship programs, technology hubs, and digital skills training are vital for unlocking the innovative capacity of Africa’s young population.
Making digitalisation a reality with the GSMA
Akim Benamara, the founder of TechAfrica News, discussed with Mrs. Angela Wamola, GSMA Ag Head Sub Saharan Africa, what are the various challenges of transforming Africa into a single digital market and stimulating the demand for digital services among Africa’s youth.
Akim Benamara: I’m curious about your thoughts on what can be done to stimulate demand for digital services. With all the data and experience you’ve gathered, what strategies do you think would be effective in engaging the younger generation with digital services?
Angela Wamola: I believe that individuals desire the chance to participate in content creation and want to understand the benefits they will receive. Transparency is key in this regard. However, the challenge lies in the lack of devices for content creation and in how to make that content accessible to a wider audience. The entertainment industry has changed significantly in Africa, with music and movies from countries such as Nigeria, Tanzania, and South Africa being consumed globally. This shift has largely been driven by youth who recognize that they have the power to make meaningful connections and benefit from their content’s digital presence. In the past, it was challenging to gain value from content creation, but digitalization has made it possible to create content that can be played across various platforms, providing value to creators.
The Role of Public-Private Partnerships in Driving Digital Transformation in Africa
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) emerged as a crucial driver of digital transformation in Africa during the summit. PPPs enable collaboration between governments, private enterprises, and civil society organizations to leverage their respective strengths and resources. By aligning interests, sharing knowledge and expertise, and jointly investing in infrastructure development, policy formulation, and capacity building, PPPs can catalyze digital innovation, bridge the digital divide, and enhance the delivery of public services. The Transform Africa Summit highlighted successful PPP models and emphasized the need for more collaborations to accelerate Africa’s digital agenda.
By making government and its services more efficient, we create opportunities for companies to operate effectively. Entrepreneurs and technologists should explore unique industries and spaces often overlooked. I encourage them to join our mission of making governments and institutions more efficient through digitization and digital integration.Israel Bimpe, CEO, Irembo
Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Service Delivery: How Irembo Empowers Citizens in Rwanda and Africa
Israel Bimpe, Irembo’s CEO and Akim Benamara, Founder of TechAfrica News discuss Irembo’s aim to extend their success across Africa, driving digital transformation and enhancing service delivery.
Akim Benamara: What role do you believe public-private partnerships play in driving digital transformation in Africa, and how can they maximize their impact?
Isreal Bimpe: Public-private partnerships are crucial for accelerating and enhancing digital transformation in Africa. While the continent may have missed previous industrial revolutions, this transformation is driven by technology and services enabled by technology. To achieve the digitization agenda, the private sector must collaborate with governments, leveraging the latest technologies to improve public services.
Platforms like Smart Africa facilitate such partnerships and engagements, allowing stakeholders to deliver significant value and improve their countries’ development.
Fostering the Acceleration of National Clouds and Creating Awareness through Education and Training
National clouds, which are secure and scalable digital infrastructures, are crucial in driving digital transformation in Africa. They enable governments, businesses, and individuals to securely store and access data, deploy digital services, and leverage emerging technologies. The summit emphasized the importance of fostering the acceleration of national clouds, ensuring data sovereignty, and promoting interoperability to support seamless integration of digital services across the continent. Moreover, education and training programs were highlighted as essential components to raise awareness about national clouds and equip individuals with the necessary skills to utilize these platforms effectively.
We need to consider the economics of cloud computing. When enterprises rely on hyper-scale cloud providers, they face various challenges. One of these challenges is data protection, as demonstrated by the example of UCS in Europe. Implementing robust data protection measures is crucial. By establishing a nationally trusted cloud, we can address this concern effectively.Xavier Poisson Gouyou Beauchamps, Global Vice President, Service Providers, HPE
HPE’s Initiatives for Digital Transformation in Africa: Education, Training, and Partnerships
Akim Benamara, Founder of TechAfrica News, and Xavier Poisson Gouyou Beauchamps, Global Vice President, Service Providers, HPE discuss how they can drive digital transformation in the continent by establishing a unified digital market and deploying trusted cloud services.
So, what initiatives has HPE undertaken to support digital transformation in Africa, and how are these initiatives making a difference?
The first thing we are doing is fostering the acceleration of national clouds. To achieve this, the initial step is creating awareness through education and training. We believe in building human capacity, and thus, we have been working closely with SADA, the Virtual University of Smart Africa, to provide content and deliver training over the past three years.
Our goal is to ensure that all members of Smart Africa in every country can learn about cloud technology. This is our second point.