2016 will be a critical year for ICT in Africa. For the first time, the digital agenda will form the centre piece of the global development agenda. The World Bank’s 2016 World Development Report ‘Digital Dividends’ looks beyond connectivity towards government services, efficiency and productivity gains. ICT takes on a different importance for the World Economic Forum – this year their Africa session ‘Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation’ examines the potential of the digital economy to drive structural transformation and leverage pan-African capabilities.
This event will build on the previous “Tech lunch” hosted by the Africa APPG with the Africa Union Foundation and look more deeply at the digital transformations that are changing Africa. Specifically it will ask the question as to where ICT’s can make real impact to support innovation and economic opportunity in Africa? Much of the Africa ICT story has been an urban one – how can we ensure that all Africans are included in the digital revolution? Where can Parliament and policy makers take leadership?
Over the last year, Inmarsat in conjunction with key partners in Kenya and Nigeria, has delivered a major digital economies research programme ‘Pushing Digital Frontiers’, supported by the UK Space Agency’s ‘International Partnership Space Programme’ to explore some of these key questions: http://www.inmarsat.com/digital-frontiers/.
James Mwangi, Executive Director of Dalberg Development Advisors and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader- will present key findings on how digital, commercial opportunity and development align.
Ken Banks, CEO of Archbishop Tutu’s Global eHealth Foundation- will set the scene on the opportunity for Africa by embracing best practice in eHealth – ensuring that these benefits are inclusive and support local innovation.
Ellen Wratten, Deputy Director, Policy and Innovation, Policy and Global Programmes Directorate, Department for International Development