Over the past few years, AI has been the focal point in global tech news.  With its ever-expanding applications, there is a growing imperative to consider and address the security aspects associated with its widespread usage.

In a landmark move to bolster the safety of artificial intelligence (AI), 18 countries around the world have signed an agreement outlining a comprehensive framework for developing and deploying secure AI systems. The 20-page document, known as the Guidelines for Secure AI System Development, stipulates that companies involved in the development, deployment, or commercialization of AI must design their systems with inherent security measures to safeguard users and the public from potential harm.

"The release of the Guidelines for Secure AI System Development marks a key milestone in our collective commitment by governments across the world to ensure the development and deployment of artificial intelligence capabilities that are secure by design," said Jen Easterly, Director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

This groundbreaking agreement follows three weeks after the inaugural international summit on AI, held from November 1 to 2 at Bletchley Park, England. It demonstrates global leaders’ will to proactively address the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapid advancement of AI technologies.

Beyond the core principle of "secure design," the agreement encompasses a range of recommendations, including Enhanced system security to prevent cyberattacks and unauthorized intrusions, Robust data protection measures to safeguard sensitive information, and Rigorous oversight of software suppliers to ensure compliance with security standards.

The 18 signatory nations include the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Australia, Chile, Israel, Nigeria, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Norway, France, New Zealand, Canada, and Germany. Notably, China, a major player in AI development, was excluded from the agreement due to ongoing U.S. sanctions.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 28 novembre 2023 18:37 Written by

Africa's digital economy is poised to reach a staggering $712 billion by 2050, accounting for 8.5% of the continent's GDP. This prospect justifies the implementation of digital transformation initiatives across Africa, including Côte d’Ivoire which is accelerating its process. 

Côte d'Ivoire and the United States are joining forces to foster the growth of the digital economy in both countries. US Ambassador to Côte d'Ivoire Jessica Davis Ba (photo, left) met with Ivorian Minister of Digital Transition and Digitization Kalil Konaté (photo, right) on Thursday, November 23, to discuss this collaboration.

During their meeting, Ambassador Davis Ba reaffirmed the United States' commitment to supporting the Ivorian government in implementing various digital projects. "We are delighted to assist Côte d'Ivoire in building a digital infrastructure that can create jobs for young people and establish Côte d'Ivoire as a model of technological innovation in the minds of Americans," stated the ambassador.

Côte d'Ivoire aspires to become a technology hub, mirroring the aspirations of several African countries, where digital technology serves as a cross-cutting sector driving economic dynamism and job creation. To achieve this goal, the government is collaborating with countries that share similar ambitions for the sector.

The United States was a natural choice given its long-standing position as one of the top five most technologically advanced nations. According to recent trade data released by the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis, the digital economy's share of US GDP increased from 11% in 2005 to 19% in 2022, and digital services exports accounted for 2.5% of GDP last year.

Côte d'Ivoire hopes to gain from the United States' experience to boost its digital economy, which currently contributes around 3% of GDP. The collaboration also aims to provide support for the development of digital infrastructure and services, cybersecurity, and entrepreneurship, among other areas.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 28 novembre 2023 15:04 Written by

In recent years, cybersecurity has emerged as a critical concern for African nations. Collaborating with strategic partners, they are embarking on specific cybersecurity initiatives to achieve predetermined goals.

Kenyan authorities welcomed an American delegation led by Ambassador-at-Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy, Nathaniel C. Fick, to Nairobi on Monday, November 27, according to a press release issued by the US State Department. The visit marked the second U.S.-Kenyan Cyberspace and Digital Dialogue, which aims to bolster the partnership between the two countries in promoting a secure and stable cyberspace.

"U.S. and Kenyan officials discussed a range of topics, which included engagement on cyber and digital capacity building, implementation of the Framework for Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace, collaboration on combatting cybercrime, promotion of secure and trusted information and communication technology infrastructure, and the advancement of digital freedom," stated the release.

Cybersecurity has become a crucial concern for African nations as they embark on their digital transformation journeys. Kenya, particularly since the inauguration of President William Ruto, has placed digital technology at the heart of its development strategy, fostering partnerships with various entities in the technology sector to support efforts in this domain. In terms of cybersecurity, Kenya holds a strong position, with a national cybersecurity strategy slated for implementation in August 2022 and a national computer incident response team in place. However, Nairobi has yet to ratify the African Union's Malabo Convention on cybersecurity.

Beyond cybersecurity, the two delegations also discussed topics related to achieving Kenya's objectives in the digital economy sector. Notably, Kenya, under President William Ruto, boasts one of the continent's most mature technological ecosystems, alongside South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On mardi, 28 novembre 2023 13:46 Written by

To achieve the ambitious goals set out in its digital strategy, Morocco is fostering a collaborative environment that brings all the relevant stakeholders together.  It offers a comprehensive suite of programs to entrepreneurs, providing them with the necessary support and enabling them to further develop their innovative ventures and gain access to increased funding opportunities.

On Friday, November 24, the Moroccan Ministry for Digital Transition and Administrative Reform and the Technopark Morocco management company (MITC) signed a partnership agreement on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Essaouira Technopark (the fifth in Morocco).  This strategic collaboration aims to establish a comprehensive framework for providing targeted support programs to local startups.

The agreement, championed by Minister for Digital Transition Ghita Mezzour, underscores the government's commitment to fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem in Morocco. "We want to empower young entrepreneurs and project leaders to thrive in the national and international markets," stated Mezzour, expressing her aspiration to nurture a Moroccan unicorn shortly.

As part of this partnership, Essaouira Technopark will offer tailored programs designed to nurture startups throughout their lifecycle. These six-month and twelve-month programs will provide comprehensive support at every stage of development, empowering startups to overcome challenges and achieve their full potential. Over the course of the agreement, an estimated 70 startups will benefit from this specialized training and guidance.

The collaboration between the government and Technopark aligns with their shared vision of leveraging digital technology to drive Morocco's economic growth. The plan is to establish Technoparks in seven regions and increase the number of Technopark cities from four to ten by 2026.

Since its inception in 2001, Technopark has established itself as Morocco's premier technology business incubator. Through its unwavering support, Technopark has nurtured over 3,500 innovative companies, creating more than 15,000 direct and indirect jobs. 

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 28 novembre 2023 03:43 Written by

Onix Data Centres aims to establish a pan-African data center network, beginning with West Africa, to address the burgeoning demand for digital services on the continent. To achieve this goal, the company is actively expanding its collaborative partnerships.

Ghanaian data center operator Onix Data Centres Ltd recently announced its integration into the Angola Cables network through its West African subsidiary TelCables. The initiative aims to improve international connectivity in Ghana and Senegal, two countries that host the operator’s data centers. 

"Our intent has been to develop a reliable facility that can accommodate and deliver secure services to hyperscalers and carriers supporting terrestrial networks as well as existing and new subsea cables planned for the region," said Onix CEO, Michael Nahon.

In Ghana, Onix’s 2,000-square-meter data center currently serves major banking and financial customers. It currently has 3 kW and 5 kW racks and a dedicated pod of 50 racks for individual customers wishing to share infrastructure and reduce costs.

By connecting to Angola Cables, Onix will be able to offer its customers a variety of secure digital solutions and managed services thanks to the network’s state-of-the-art facilities comprising, among other things, 66 new data centers and 21 IXPs (Internet Exchange points).

The aim is to meet the needs of a wide range of customers who require secure storage and management of their digital assets and data. The partnership is part of Onix's commitment to providing neutral colocation services and high-quality connectivity in West Africa, as demand for digital services continues to grow in the region. In January, the company launched its second data center in Dakar, Senegal.

Meanwhile, Fernando Fernandes, CEO of TelCables Nigeria and West Africa, believes that “Partners like Onix are playing a vital role in developing the infrastructure necessary to expand digital services and provide the platform for ISPs, CDNs and other enterprises contributing to the explosive growth in data traffic, cloud services, and content distribution across the African continent.” 

Samira Njoya

Posted On lundi, 27 novembre 2023 16:35 Written by

On the African continent where value-added digital services are getting appealing by the day, telecom operators are adapting their strategies to remain competitive. In that context, Orange is multiplying innovations, in line with its “Lead the Future” vision, to meet subscribers’ needs.  

Earlier today, November 24, Orange Middle East and Africa (OMEA) announced the launch of Max it, its super app. Currently, the app is available in five African countries, namely Cameroon, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Botswana. It will be gradually rolled out with functional updates in the twelve other countries that make up Orange’s market in the Middle East-Africa zone.

According to Orange CEO Christel Heydemann, "Max it perfectly reflects Orange’s spirit of innovation in Africa and the Middle East. By bringing together all our services and those of numerous partners, this application strengthens our position as a multi-service operator and our desire to offer the best of digital services to all our customers."

The digital solution aggregates three essential service offerings into a unified smartphone interface. Orange customers can seamlessly manage their mobile or fixed lines, and access a wide range of local and international financial services including money transfers, merchant payments, bank transfers, credit, and savings. Additionally, users can access diverse digital content such as online games, music, TV, videos, news, and more through an inclusive marketplace. The interface even facilitates the purchase of tickets for events like concerts and transportation services.

Max it is accessible to all, regardless of operator, with Orange Money as the payment base, while accepting other solutions for paying for purchases via the super-app. Available in different languages and integrating local specificities for greater inclusion, Max it will enable the development of new uses while meeting the different needs of its users' daily lives,” Orange indicates in a release.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the mobile phone is the main gateway to the digital world.  With a current smartphone adoption rate of 51%, projected to reach 87% by 2030, Orange is poised to capitalize on this potential by expanding its reach through its app over the next seven years. Aiming to connect with a wider audience, Orange has set a target of registering nearly 45 million active Max it users by 2025, building upon its existing base of 32 million monthly Orange Money users.

Posted On vendredi, 24 novembre 2023 17:14 Written by

Digital transformation is now recognized as a driving force for growth across diverse sectors of the economy. Notably, the United Nations advocates for its role in accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At its 2023 Sustainability Forum held on November 21 in Dongguan, China, under the theme "Thrive Together with Tech: Realizing Sustainable Development", Huawei unveiled a fellowship program in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This initiative targets young innovators between the ages of 18 and 28 worldwide who have impactful digital projects that empower community development.

Called the "The ITU Generation Connect Young Leadership Programme in Partnership with Huawei," the fellowship will open for applications early next year and run for three years. The 30 young people selected will be supported in carrying out their projects. This is an expression of the Chinese technology company's firm belief in the catalytic effect of digital talent in future technological innovation.

Jeff Wang, President of Huawei's Public Affairs and Communications Department, explains: “The support that participants will receive includes financial contributions to their projects, mentoring from ITU and Huawei experts, and opportunities to participate in joint events.

The fellowship introduced by Huawei and ITU marks a significant development in the ongoing collaboration between the two entities, which commenced last year with the establishment of the Partner2Connect Digital Coalition (P2C). P2C is a program dedicated to advancing global connectivity and digital transformation, with a special emphasis on underserved communities in regions and countries facing digital accessibility challenges. As part of its commitment to this initiative, Huawei has pledged to extend connectivity to approximately 120 million individuals residing in these underserved regions across over 80 countries by 2025. Notably, the company reports that it has already made significant strides, reaching 90 million people as of now. 

"Digital is a prerequisite for accelerating the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We want the youth to push the envelope on the evolving global digital ecosystem and make their transformative contributions," said Dr. Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.

Posted On vendredi, 24 novembre 2023 17:11 Written by

To expedite its digital transformation journey, Kenya is bolstering its partnerships in the technology sector. Earlier this week, the authorities partnered with American giant Microsoft to improve the delivery of public services.  

Stanley Kamanguya, Director General of the Kenya ICT Authority (ICTA), and Phyllis Migwi, Country Manager of Microsoft East Africa Company, signed a memorandum of understanding in the ICT sector on Tuesday, November 21 in Nairobi, Kenya. The aim is to reinforce the digital transformation underway in the country and integrate Microsoft cloud services to improve public service delivery with the adoption of the cloud-first strategy.

By February 2024, the Redmond-based firm will have to put in place a comprehensive framework for this purpose. The move to the cloud should enable Kenya to outsource the security and data protection of all its institutions to the American giant for the next three years, per the terms of the protocol.

"I would like to thank Microsoft for this engagement which has come at the right time. We believe that towards the end of this partnership, we shall enhance our cybersecurity awareness, enhance our digital skills, and develop key technology areas for a vibrant digital sector," said Stanley Kamanguya.

A few months ago, the Kenyan public services portal, eCitizen, suffered a cyberattack claimed by pro-Russian hacktivist group Anonymous Sudan, forcing authorities to take measures to ensure continuity of services like visa, passport, identity card, and driving license issuance.  

Yet, Kenya is one of the African countries that performs best when it comes to cybersecurity. It ranks 5th on the continent and, is one of the few with a national cybersecurity strategy. In its report "Cybersecurity in Africa -Call to action" published in June 2023, consulting firm Kearney explains that the continent's ability to resist, adapt, and recover from cyberattacks is low. Sub-Saharan African countries do not invest enough in cybersecurity. The region’s average cybersecurity investment is around 0.03% of GDP while the average benchmark is 0.25%. 

Kenya’s digital ambitions place the country among the top African targets for hackers. Therefore, it is allowing itself up to three years –the duration of the agreement with Microsoft– to get up to speed.

"As a leader in the tech space in Kenya, Microsoft is very glad to sign this MoU and for us, we are looking forward to seeing how we shall bring the full power of Microsoft services and products to the government for mutual benefit," explained Phyllis Migwi.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On jeudi, 23 novembre 2023 16:32 Written by

Recognizing the potential of electronic health records to enhance medical care, several African nations are making strides toward their widespread implementation.

On Tuesday, November 21, Zambia's Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo (photo), launched SmartCare Pro, a digital electronic health record (EHR) management system.

The new system, inaugurated in the Chongwe district, aims to transform healthcare delivery across the country by improving access to care, health outcomes, and quality of care.

According to the Minister, the system will not only collect data but also guide healthcare workers in managing patients. "It uses information provided by our health experts and consultants to assist our health workers. It’s a game-changer in how we manage the healthcare of our citizens. This system is finally going to ensure that all the facilities that are from the smallest up to the biggest hospitals will be digitized," she said.

According to Sylvia Masebo, the implementation of the new system is part of the government's commitment to the convergence of technology and healthcare. It defines the shared vision of creating a future where technology plays a key role in promoting healthier communities.

SmartCare Pro will improve the overall efficiency of healthcare. It will also enable doctors to access medical records directly, avoiding duplicate tests and procedures for each patient.

SmartCare Pro is the enhanced version of SmartCare, an HIV-specific data collection tool launched over 15 years ago in the country. It has also made a significant contribution to clinical decision support and improved healthcare service delivery.

Samira Njoya

Posted On jeudi, 23 novembre 2023 16:30 Written by

To improve the efficiency of public services, the Democratic Republic of Congo plans to digitize the whole sector and end physical documents. However, its digitization efforts are hampered by a shortage of skilled employees. 

Africa Digital Academy (ADA), a subsidiary of Africa Development Solutions Group dedicated to the creation and management of digital training programs, and DRC’s digital development agency ADN signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday, November 21, on the sidelines of the Africa Digital Expo held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Under the agreement, ADA will train 100,000 Congolese civil servants in 2024 and 2025.

"The collaboration between ADA and ADN, two leading entities in the digital field, is a giant step forward in the effort to modernize the Congolese public administration. We thank ADA for their strategic support and look forward to this collaboration," said ADN coordinator Dominique Migisha (photo, left).

According to ADN, the training program will focus on the fundamentals of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, and business solutions. The aim is to support and accelerate the DRC's digital transformation, with an emphasis on the acquisition of key skills and the implementation of technological solutions tailored to the country's specific needs.

The new partnership is part of the actions undertaken by the government and its partners to accelerate digitization in the country and equip the country's citizens with the digital skills needed to ensure said digitization and reduce the digital divide.

It is one of the numerous programs the ADA is involved in across Africa. Since October 16, the academy is training 1,000 young Ivorians in digital professions, including cybersecurity.

At the end of the collaboration with ADN, Congolese civil servants will be better equipped to use the public services being digitized in the country.

Samira Njoya

Posted On jeudi, 23 novembre 2023 13:38 Written by
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