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Africa Mobilising  $300billion To Create ‘Smart Continent’

by Dan Ngabonziza
11:51 am


Africa needs more than $300 billion to fully invest in Information communication technologies (ICTs) to establish a smart continent, Rwanda’s Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi said during the Transform Africa summit in Kigali.

Murekezi challenged participants at the ongoing summit to work hard and apply all measures possible to raise the funds required for ICT investment in Africa in the next five years.

He said transform Africa should be based on delivery of ICT services, “We must establish a strong regulatory environment and work with the private sector to accelerate the smart Africa community.”

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is committed to lending support in ensuring the implementation of the ‘Smart Africa Agenda’, its Secretary General said on Monday.

Rwanda hosts the 2nd edition of Transform Africa summit that has attracted over 1000 companies including global giants Facebook, CISCO and Ericson.

As ITU, we continue to value the importance of technology in transforming lives. ICT will be central in the success of the SDGs… and without ICT, the 7 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be easily achieved,” Houlin Zhao said.

Much as Rwanda has registered lucrative deals in IT development through this summit, the ITU Secretary General said; “Together we have the power to transform Africa.”

Since the 1st edition that of Transform Africa Summit was hosted in Rwanda, the country has registered more than $150 million worth of investment in ICT projects over the last two years.

Francis Gatare, CEO of Rwanda Development Board charged with luring investments into the country, told the summit that Rwanda is more than ready to lend a helping hand in transforming Africa into a vibrant economy.

“We are pleased to host this 2nd edition of Transform Africa Summit 2015. Rwanda is pleased with its achievements in ICT development and we are ready to work together.”

About 850 companies are participating in Transform Africa-2015 to transform Africa through the power of ICT innovation.

For Francis Gatare, “This year’s summit will help us push the progress that has already been made through the previous transform Africa summits.”

While expectations from this year’s summit are high, ITU Secretary General noted, “This summit comes at a time when we believe we can accelerate digital Africa.

With the 3.5 billion active mobile subscribers in Africa, there is a prospect of the number to double in the next year.”

He added that ICTs have contributed enormously to humanity and will enable achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).