On December 10th, Gabrielle Alves, researcher at CIPÓ, participated in the Young Thinktankers Forum at the 2021 Africa Think Tank Summit, organized by Southern Voice, one of he partners of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). The main theme of the Summit was the post-covid-19 digital transformation in Africa: opportunities, challenges and options to building back better.
The Summit provided a space for African think tanks and key stakeholders to exchange best practices and lessons and debate new ideas and innovative strategies to impact public policy and support the implementation of Africa’s digital transformation agenda.
Currently, most African countries have digitization agendas and are implementing various interventions aimed at contributing to the digital transformation of the continent. While at the continental level, a comprehensive Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa (2020-2030) has been introduced by the African Union (AU), countries are using digital technologies and innovation to transform their own economies.
However, despite the success achieved by Africa so far, data from GSMA Intelligence (the definitive source of global mobile operator data, insights and forecasts), shows that Africa still lags behind other regions (developed and developing). For instance, the percentage of the population covered by 3G and 4G networks in 2020 is respectively 76% and 58% in Africa, 94% and 84% in Asia, and 93% and 83% in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Delegates discussed what capacities are needed to accelerate the implementation of the AU Digital Transformation Strategy (2020-2030) and how it translates into the implementation of strong digital transformation policies and actions at regional and national levels.
ACBF worked with its partners to deliver results at the Summit and post-Summit, using key messages and findings to develop a capacity building program to support the formulation and implementation of digitization policies in African countries.