AUC, UNECA Finalizing Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa

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Ena December 11/2019 African Union Commission (AUC) and UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) are finalizing a digital transformation strategy for Africa, which will be presented at the AU Summit in February 2020 for consideration.

This was noted of during the general discussion of Committee on Private, Regional Integration, Trade, Infrastructure, Industry and Technology first session held in Addis Ababa today under the theme “Private development and the digital economy in support of regional integration in Africa.”

Director of the Regional Integration and Trade Division at UNECA, Stephen Karingi, said on the discussion that “digitalization is changing everything,” adding the UN and AUC are working on ensuring the transition to a digital economy in Africa.

The value of the global digital economy is estimated at more than 11.5 trillion USD and is set to rise to more than 23 trillion USD by 2025, he indicated.

So, the Director said, Africa can not afford to be left behind in adopting the use of a digital economy for its economic development and transformation.

The development of the strategy is aiming at enabling inclusive digital transformation in Africa and will help unlock the potential of the digital economy across the continent, he stated.

The strategy will also close the internet access gap while providing a roadmap and an action plan for reaching universal, affordable, meaningful and inclusive connectivity in Africa by 2030.

State Minister Trade and Industry of Ethiopia, Misganu Arga said Ethiopia is committed to embrace policy frameworks contributing towards developing digital economy.

The government is working toward making Ethiopia an attractive prospect for high-value-added digital economy and industries in the region, he noted.

“Good epitome in this regard is the ongoing digitalization work for creating an online business registration and licensing portal to expedite service delivery for entrepreneurs and startups,” the State Minister pointed out.

Misganu urged African governments to devise strategies for enhancing digital literacy and skills in order to develop local digital economies to bridge the digital knowledge gap in the continent.