What Has Transform Africa Summit Achieved?
Following five editions, the sixth Transform Africa Summit took place at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe from April 26th to the 28th. The summit reflected the aspirations of African states toward a technology-driven economy. The summit convened global and regional leaders from government, business, and international organizations to work together on innovative strategies to direct, expand, and sustain the continent’s digital revolution.
President Kagame of Rwanda presided over the Smart Africa Board Meeting. Emmerson Mnangagwa, the President of the host state, President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi, President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia, King Mswati III of Eswatini, and representatives of the Alliance’s 36 member nations attended the meeting.
“ Connect, Innovate and Transform”
The Transform Africa Summit is Africa’s leading annual forum bringing together global and regional leaders from government, business and international organizations to collaborate on new ways of shaping, accelerating and sustaining Africa’s ongoing digital revolution.
Running under the theme “Connect, Innovate and Transform,” Transform Africa Summit aims to enable Member States to become more competitive, agile, open and innovative smart economies. It is an opportunity for meaningful engagements on how governments can attract large-scale investments and enable fast growth and exports and for the private sector to thrive in an innovation and ICT-driven entrepreneurship ecosystem, hence transforming African nations into smart societies.
The African Heads of State and Government established the Smart Africa Manifesto to connect, innovate, and transform the African economy. As expected, this move brought Africa into the advanced era of information and communication technologies. The very first Transform Africa Summit was held in Rwanda in 2013. At the end of the proceedings, only seven African Heads of State agreed to adopt the Smart Africa Manifesto. These states were Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Mali, Gabon, and Burkina Faso. In the Smart Africa Manifesto, the alliance of these seven states pledged to take the lead in advancing the socio-economic development of Africa through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
Main Achievements of the Sixth Summit
Kingdom of Eswatini becomes a new member state; A $1.5 million Institutional Support for Digital Payments and e-Commerce Policies for Cross-Border Trade Project (IDECT) project with AfDB among partnerships signed; 5 Heads of State graced the highly attended summit; 10 MoUs and membership agreements signed; Smart Africa Trust Alliance (SATA) (www.SmartAfrica.org) signed by eight founding member states.