THE Internet Society said it will hold the first ever Africa Regional Internet and Development Dialogue from 8-9 May 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda, in partnership with UNESCO and Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Youth and ICT.
The event aims at gathering various organisations working on Internet and development across the region to identify synergies and create opportunities for coordination and collaboration
The two-day meeting will bring together experts including government and inter-governmental organisation officials, business and educational leaders from throughout the continent to discuss how Africa can use the Internet to advance education, innovation and job creation.
According to the Regional Bureau Director for Africa at the Internet Society, Dawit Bekele, one of the key topics of discussion will be what needs to be done for Africa to benefit from the transformational opportunities of the Internet for the benefit of the African economy and education.
“While there are many challenges, we know it can be done. Countries such as Kenya and Rwanda have created policy environments that enable innovation and they are now seeing the benefits of the Internet economy. Universities throughout the continent are also using e-learning opportunities to increase their reach as well as to give flexibility for their students”, said Bekele.
Rwanda’s Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana who is excited about the development said that Africa is on an unstoppable move toward digital transformation adding that the room for increasing speed and impact is limitless.
“This can only be achieved if we are able to harness effectively the power of partnerships. We therefore welcome and are pleased to co-host this dialogue which is a great platform for advanced partnerships ahead of the transform Africa Summit that Rwanda will host from May 10 to 12, 2017”, said Nsengimana.
The Africa Regional Internet Development Dialogue is an opportunity for key stakeholders to: discuss not only the challenges, but also the achievements in building the Internet economy and education in Africa; review the successes and setbacks of various initiatives throughout the region and share lessons-learned and identify the next steps different stakeholders need to take to build the Internet economy and improve education in Africa.
The Director, Knowledge Societies Division, Communications and Information Sector, UNESCO, Indrajit Banerjee said: “I am honoured to participate in this very meaningful event. UNESCO is committed to working with all stakeholders to harness ICTs in a way that serves the interests of learners and the larger teaching/learning community”.
This conference is part of a global series of Internet development conferences organized by the Internet Society with the aim of furthering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that aim at tackling the world’s main development challenges by 2030.
Regional Internet Development Dialogues were held last year in Asia Pacific, hosted by UNESCAP, and in Latin America & Caribbean in partnership with Inter-America Development Bank and hosted by the Government of Argentina.