African countries need to embrace technology for economic transformation and prosperity, Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta said as the fifth Transform Africa Summit opened officially in Kigali on Wednesday.
The Transform Africa Summit is arguably the largest ICT forum on the continent. This year’s summit running from May 14 to 17 drew about 4000 attendees under the theme “Boosting Africa’s Digital Economy.”
Economic transformation and prosperity require mastery of technology, now is the time to build the necessary infrastructure and skills in Africa, President Kagame said in his opening remarks.
Kagame said in this era of the digital economy, remaining behind is not an option for Africa.
President Kenyatta called for breakdown of barriers for Africa to take full advantage of the digital future, adding that education is critical for people to take advantage of opportunities presented by technology.
The Kenyan leader said the fundamental element of African economic prosperity and journey forward will be technology.
Also in attendance was Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar.
Kagame noted that the role of Smart Africa has the importance of keeping Africa together, in terms of the digital agenda, adding that collaboration is the only way for countries to navigate successfully, through the complex global dynamics faced.
Participants at the summit include policymakers, regulators, young innovators and officials from Africa and beyond discussing ways to leverage information and communication technology to boost the continent’s economy.