Transform Africa Summit commences in Rwanda

2019-05-15 18:00:40

The 5th edition the Transform Africa Summit has gotten underway in Kigali, drawing up to 4000 delegates.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame is expected to preside over the opening of the 5th Transform Africa Summit, which kicked off in the capital city of Kigali on Wednesday.

The summit will also be addressed by other high-ranking government and business leaders, as well as Sophia, the world's first robot citizen that have wowed audiences, especially in the IT world, globally.

The two-day gathering, which was preceded by the second Economic Forum of the annual summit, will be running under the theme; "Boosting Africa's Digital Economy".

Most deliberations will be revolving around job creation and emergence of enterprises.

Digital economy is based on digital computing technologies with provisions to conduct business on the internet and related platforms.

In Rwanda and Africa in general, digital economy manifests mostly in the form of e-commerce and financial technologies.

Digital economy is expected to enable the continent to more create jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for its bulging youth, who are estimated at over 50 per cent of the population.

Rwanda Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said that with the rapid population growth and ever-growing youthful population, the African continent can optimize digital technologies and digital economy to drive job creation and transform their communities.

"Africa has the fastest growing youth population with more 140 million young people now than a decade ago. By 2028, the African continent will be hosting almost one billion people under the age of 25. This young population presents an opportunity to optimise the adoption of technologies as the younger generation is eager to embrace the digital era," he said at the opening of the Economic Forum of Transform Africa Summit.

With start-ups across the world generating new ideas and concepts, the premier said, there is an opportunity to work alongside the sector to deliver the much-needed transformation and job creation.

"This is where we see the value for start-ups which play, globally, a significant role in economic development. Across the world, start-ups are currently being championed by the youth who are actively creating jobs and transforming their communities. They bring new ideas to the table, much needed to stimulate innovation and generate competition," Ngirente said.

He added that digital economy and technology solutions will fast-track continental integration.

In 2018, investment in African tech startups surpassed the billion-dollar mark - a milestone that had been previously been expected to be reached in 2020.