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Transform Africa Summit kicks off in Rwanda

Hinamundi Collins

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KIGALI – The 5th edition of Transform Africa Summit, the largest Information and Communications Technology forum in Africa; has officially opened today in Kigali with more than 4,000 attendees including policymakers, innovators, investors, tech giants to discuss how ICT can be leveraged to boost the continent’s economy.

The Summit kicked off on Tuesday with a government to business Economic Forum where policy makes get to discuss areas of collaboration with business leaders and high net-worth individuals like Nigeria’s UBA Bank founder Mr Tony Elumelu.

Speaking at the Forum’s opening session themed “Start-Up Africa”, Prime Minister  Edouard Ngirente stressed on the role of start-ups led by the youth in driving the digital transformation of the continent.  “Africa has the fastest growing youth population with more  than 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.” He said.

He also reminded participants about the opportunities a young population presents especially as early adopters.

This young population presents an opportunity to optimize adoption of technologies as the younger generation is eager to embrace the digital era.

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” Mr Ngirente said.

The main summit will be addressed by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.

In addition to the Smart Africa Leaders Summit, the Smart Africa Women’s Summit and interactive plenaries, the summit will feature subject specific streams tackling current ICT topics.

This is the second edition of the summit to be held in Rwanda. The previous edition resulted in participants adopting the first Smart Manifesto which aims to put ICT at the center of members’ socio-economic development.

A fellow of President Obama’s Young African Leadership Initiative (2016), Collins Hinamundi is an Award-winning journalist with 10 years’ experience covering Entertainment, finance & banking, macro-economic policy, energy, mining, natural resources and governance in East and Central Africa.

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