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“Accelerating Africa’s Industrialization through Digitalization and Youth Techpreneurship”
We are at a nexus period where the global scale of the Internet, the ubiquity of mobile devices, the ever-declining cost of cloud services, an increasingly networked physical world and artificial intelligence are interconnecting people, processes and things, turning data into knowledge and knowledge into actions revolutionizing all spheres of human activity, society, politics, culture and the economy.
Coming late to industrialization, Africa and its young entrepreneurs have opportunity to be the prime beneficiaries of these digital technologies by creating a development model based on a profound understanding of their transformative potential and astounding progress. Africa will not only benefit from orders of magnitude of gain in safety, efficiency and productivity in sectors such as infrastructure, energy, manufacturing, agriculture, transports and logistics, but will also leapfrog directly into decentralized, personalized and digital health, education and government services.
For African citizens, the true promise of connectivity and digitization is the eradication of poverty, equal opportunities for all, enhanced quality of life and opportunities for entrepreneurship. People in historically disadvantaged communities can educate themselves, learn the skills they need to succeed, have access to finance and ever better healthcare.
Strengthening the African digital and technological ecosystems is paramount as they are the foundations for 21st century’s knowledge economy and are key enablers of sustainable innovations and new employment opportunities. This will require creating frameworks for supporting multi-sectoral partnerships, intergovernmental and government-private sector collaborations to connect and digitize all aspects of the African economy.
The recent partnership between the African Union (AU) and NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) has a vision to spearhead a vibrant, private sector driven and entrepreneurship led economy that stays on top of technology trends and that leverages the current African demographic dividend. To materialize this partnership, the AU and NBF are jointly organizing the 9th Private Sector Forum (PSF) event and the African Leaders in Dialogue Dinner (ALD), in collaboration with Andalem and hosted by the South African Government through the Department of Science and Technology.
Venue: CSIR Convention Centre on Meiring Naude Road, Pretoria