Zimbabwe hosts Transform Africa Summit

The 6th edition of the Transform Africa Summit held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe has come to an end. Notable among the things that transpired during the summit is new memberships in the Smart Africa Alliance, namely The Kingdom of Eswatini which became the 37th member state of the alliance which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.

The Republics of Gambia and Botswana are also closing the process to join the Alliance.

Private sector members including Irembo, Ascend Digital and Asmos Consulting Africa also formalized their memberships during the summit.

The highly expected summit has kept all its promises and has been graced by the presence of the presidents from the republics of Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia and his majesty, the king of Eswatini.

“This ongoing growth of Smart Africa is a testament of the tangible value that we consistently deliver,” stressed Smart Africa’s Director General Lacina Koné.

This year’s summit gathered 5 heads of state, including a king, 44 ministers and attracted around 4000 delegates from 91 countries.

Director General Koné observed that this is a testimony of Africa’s political commitment at the highest level “in our actions for the digital transformation of our continent”

On his part, President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa said the summit is held at a time when lessons from the covid-19 pandemic give impetus for Africa to develop its own capabilities.

The summit was characterized by signings of various agreements including a $1.5 million project by Smart Africa and the African Development Bank to streamline digital trade and e-commerce policies across 10 African countries.

Other accomplishments included an agreement between Smart Africa and the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat to enhance collaboration in information, communication and technology to develop a Single Digital Market for Africa within the African Continental Free Trade Area and the signing of the Smart Africa Trust Alliance (SATA) by 8 founding Member States to connect all systems through a trust framework.

Partnerships in the areas of connectivity, digital infrastructure, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship and capacity building among others were also signed notably with I4Policy foundation, Hitachi Systems Security, Zhejiang, Gaia-x European Association for data, Internet Society and Estonian Association of Information Technology & Telecommunications (ITL).

Last but not least is the ratification of the agreement establishing the Smart Africa Alliance by the Republic of Rwanda shortly prior to the summit, becoming the 5th member state to ratify the agreement and officially bringing it into force following its adoption by the 11th Smart Africa Board Meeting. This qualifies Smart Africa as an international organization as it celebrates its 10 years anniversary this year.

African Press Organization