President Paul Kagame has emphasised the need to accelerate digital connectivity, saying that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that it is not a luxury.
He was speaking during the ninth board meeting of Smart Africa, an alliance of African countries seeking to promote digital transformation.
“The pandemic has shown that connectivity is not a luxury. It is a necessity,” he told Heads of State and Government, and other leaders who attended the virtual meeting.
Kagame said on Monday, December 7, that the provision of education and health services depends on digital infrastructure.
“The good jobs of the future will also rely on technology skills and a digital identity,” he noted, adding that Smart Africa’s mission is to do just that.
Smart Africa’s mission is to define the continent’s digital agenda and drive the continental single digital market, all this is done through a series of projects and activities.
Under the current arrangement, each member country spearheads a project that is aligned with Smart Africa’s vision.
Smart Africa has gained seven more members since the last board meeting held in 2019. That brings the total membership to 31 countries.
The new members are Algeria, Cabo Verde, Republic of Congo, Mauritania, Morocco, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe.
The organization also saw new membership from the private sector, including Tahaluf Al Emarat, BICS, and Softbank.
Kagame emphasised the importance of private sector partnership to realize Smart Africa’s core goals.
“We place a high value on what you as business leaders bring to these efforts,” he noted.
The Head of State added that they will work with the private sector to make the necessary investments.
“This is especially evident in the process of recovering from Covid,” he said.
The meeting was attended by leaders of Burkina Faso, Congo-Brazzaville, Djibouti, DRC, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.