(Ecofin Agency) - The United Nations calls on African countries to speed up the digital transformation on the continent. This was during the virtual session of the African World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which took place on August 31, on the theme “COVID-19: A Catalyst to Achieving WSIS Outcomes.”
According to Andrew Rugege, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regional Director for Africa, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates the practicality of an information society.
Jean Paul Adam, the director of the technology, climate change, and natural resources management division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), stressed that “ICTs can play a crucial role in our lives and can greatly contribute to the implementation of the SDGs. They provide new solutions and where appropriate infrastructure, skills, and services are available, they can be incredibly powerful in transforming education, healthcare, or the way we do business.”
“Our main challenge remains the digital divide that is today widespread in Africa with a very low rate of connectivity. We can never meet the 2030 target if we do not urgently address the issue of connectivity across the continent," he added
Participants in the virtual session agreed that harnessing digital technologies and innovation to transform African societies and economies is critical to the continent's development challenges, not only to promote Africa's integration but also to generate inclusive economic growth, stimulate job creation, bridge the growing digital divide and eradicate poverty.