September 18, 2022

Digital Transformation in Africa

Contributed by:

Mr. Lacina Koné

Director-General, Smart Africa

This Commissioner Insight was published in the 2022 State of Broadband Report,

Smart Africa is a Pan-African organization entrusted with the Digital Transformation Agenda of Africa with the vision to transform Africa into a single digital market through a bold and innovative multi-stakeholder approach. Smart Africa has been working on a number of initiatives with the support of its stakeholders to achieve its vision and also to support in the achievement of the Broadband Commission 2025 Broadband Advocacy Targets.

These initiatives include among others the under listed:

Launched as the driving vehicle for implementing Smart Africa’s capacity building and skills development activities across the digital skills spectrum, SADA is a pan-African dynamic learning ecosystem in which African citizens of all ages and social classes can gain or improve their digital skills, gain qualifications, and meet the emerging talent needs of employers, industry or be self-reliant. Thirteen (13) Smart Africa member states are already on board for the implementations of National Digital Academies at various stages and these include Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Benin, Tunisia, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo B, Ghana, Kenya, Tunisia, Morocco, DRC, Ghana, and Djibouti. Within 2022, about 35 trainings have been held (face-to-face and virtual) with 600 plus beneficiaries and more than 25 partners engaged.

This initiative is developing a systematic framework for national plans and interventions to connect women and girls to technology based on experiences and emerging opportunities. This is co-created with representatives of Governments, Private Sector, Academia, and Civil Society. These efforts will be enabled and supported by Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA) and Digital Transformation Centres across Africa.

This initiative is part of the Smart Africa Broadband 2025 transformative Broadband Strategy. And currently supporting the Republic of Rwanda to explore the feasibility of, and funding options for, embedding fiber in their new electrification project to extend passive fiber access to reach nearly half of Rwandan households. Smart Africa is also supporting the Republic of Sierra Leone in the development of their new Broadband Strategy which is line with Sierra Leone Digital Transformation Agenda the Smart Africa Broadband 2025 transformative broadband strategy as well as support in the achievement of the Broadband Commission 2025 Broadband Advocacy Targets.

The ideas and opinions expressed in this insight are those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect those of ITU and UNESCO or the Broadband Commission. The mention of specific companies, products or services does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by ITU or UNESCO or Broadband Commission in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.