EurAfrican Forum 2019 | EU-AF Economic Integration and Digital Infrastructure | Breakout Session 4

September 3, 2019 by EurAfrican Forum

Africa is about to become the world’s largest free trade area. boosting competitiveness as active globalizers and with Europe eventually form a free-trade zone of 2 billion people. At a time when only 35,9% of internet penetration happens in Africa (faced to 56% world average), and with the huge and increasing demand for data and increasing opportunities for 5G and fibre, digital and broadband infrastructure investment is one of the major challenges and top priorities for Africa – a big opportunity for investors to cooperate globally. Now, there is huge potential for digital impact in Africa. But to achieve that, the five foundations of a digital economy need to be in place – digital infrastructure, literacy and skills, financial services, platforms, and digital entrepreneurship and innovation. Who is leading Africa’s digital infrastructure investment to enable the technology of the future? Is Africa competing globally already? How can artificial intelligence support the delivery of high-tech solutions for Africa? How can research support the boost of competitiveness for Africa? What needs to be done to increase better digital literacy and skills? Is private-public cooperation needed for the success of economic and market integration for both continents?