ECA, Google Join Forces to Accelerate Digital Transformation Across Africa

By : Samira Njoya

Date : mardi, 20 février 2024 03:39

The COVID-19 pandemic's disruptions exposed the need for robust digital infrastructure and skills across Africa, sparking a surge in initiatives aiming to bridge the digital divide and accelerate economic transformation.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and Google signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today at the Africa Business Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to boost digital transformation across the continent.

Commenting on the merits of the initiative, Claver Gatete (photo, right), Executive Secretary of the ECA, said it had the potential to deliver significant results in addressing digital challenges and bridging the digital divide in Africa. He also emphasized Google's central role in improving connectivity in Africa, supporting African innovators and entrepreneurs, and building digital capacity.

As part of this partnership, the two parties will collaborate in three key areas. Firstly, they will focus on start-up development, to enable 1 million start-ups to generate $100 billion in revenues by 2033. Secondly, they will focus on training young people in ICT, with plans to train 5,000 young African students and 200 teachers in computer science and robotics. This training will support their participation in global competitions, such as the Robotics Olympiad, and increase Africa's representation in this field.

Finally, both partners will work to strengthen cybersecurity in the region. This will be done through dialogues with government officials, training workshops, collaborative research, and the sharing of best practices in cybersecurity. Ultimately, these initiatives will help bridge the digital divide in Africa by promoting infrastructure development and affordability, a sound regulatory environment, and fostering digital skills.

Samira Njoya


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