Zimbabwe minister calls for joint efforts in bridging Africa’s digital gap

Zimbabwe minister calls for joint efforts in bridging Africa’s digital gap

By Xinhua

CAPE TOWN: African countries have been urged to work collectively to build future-proof digital infrastructure to bridge the connectivity gap on the continent.

Collective efforts on the continental scale will accelerate Africa’s digital transformation, said Zimbabwe’s Information Communication and Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister, Tatenda Mavetera, on the sidelines of the ongoing Africa Tech Festival in Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa.

“There is more collaboration which is needed in terms of finding out what skill set each country has, what policies they have put in place, and how they have managed to enhance their infrastructure,” Mavetera said in an interview with Xinhua on Monday.

Africa should collectively invest in innovation hubs where countries pull resources together and leverage their strengths towards the benefit of the continent, she said.

University students attend an ICT job fair during the launch of the 2022 Huawei Seeds for the Future program in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Sept. 12, 2022. (Xinhua/Tafara Mugwara)

The minister applauded Africa’s digitalization partners such as China’s Huawei for their role in building the continent’s digital infrastructure.

She said in addition to investing in Zimbabwe’s digital infrastructure, Huawei has extensively invested in nurturing information and communication technology (ICT) talent in the country through its Seeds for the Future Program, the Huawei ICT Academy and Huawei ICT Competitions.

“I think that is very key, because for us to have a good future, we need to invest now for the future, so for me, I am very happy that they are seeding into the future,” said Mavetera.

A local student attends the graduation ceremony of Huawei’s Seeds for the Future Program in Harare, Zimbabwe, Sept. 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Tafara Mugwara)

Continental initiatives such as the Africa Tech Festival provide platforms for African countries to collaborate, she said.

The Africa Tech Festival, which runs from Monday to Wednesday, brings together government officials, business leaders, tech experts and investors, among others, to explore the future of Africa’s digital transformation.

The festival consists of two main events: AfricaCom 2023 and AfriTech.

AfricaCom 2023 focuses on topics of connectivity infrastructure and digital inclusion with an emphasis on digital infrastructure investment, sustainable development and green ICT, among others.

AfriTech pinpoints enterprise transformation and emerging technologies with an emphasis on Africa’s start-up scene, artificial Intelligence, the internet of things, cybersecurity and data protection, among others.

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