#ConnectedAfricaSummit2024: Kenya Calls for Youth-Led Digital Africa

In a momentous event in Nairobi, President William Ruto of Kenya launched the inaugural Connected Africa Summit 2024, urging the continent to prioritize its young innovators in the journey towards digital transformation.

Highlighting Africa’s burgeoning talent and entrepreneurial spirit, which are already driving progress in fintech, agriculture, renewable energy, and digital services, President Ruto emphasized the critical role of connectivity in driving economic growth and advancing the continent’s digital agenda.

“Their brilliant minds are actively contributing to the global technology sector,” he stated, “marking Africa as an indispensable hub of technological innovation.”

Bridging the Digital Divide

The President acknowledged the challenges Africa faces in achieving widespread digital access. Despite a 36% internet penetration rate (473 million users), fixed broadband access remains low at only 5%. This digital divide hinders Africa’s potential for economic growth.

“Closing the digital divide is a priority in terms of enhancing connectivity, expanding the contribution of the ICT sector to Africa’s GDP and driving overall GDP growth, which will be attained through determined interventions to significantly increase access to broadband services and to enhance both service quality and affordability, which will intensify job creation and poverty reduction,” said President Ruto.

Building a Connected Future

The Connected Africa Summit aims to address these challenges by laying the foundation for sustainable connectivity across Africa. The goal is to empower Africans to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

This summit emphasises collaboration as a critical factor in Africa’s digital success. Key stakeholders, including African nations, global partners, and the private sector, are coming together to develop strategies for inclusive growth in the digital economy.

Among the participants is KICTANet, a multi-stakeholder think tank for ICT policy and regulation. KICTANet, along with its partners like UKaid, D4Dhub, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, plays a crucial role in fostering synergy within the sector and driving initiatives that propel Africa’s digital development.

The Connected Africa Summit presents a unique opportunity for Africa to harness its potential and become a global leader in the digital arena.

By fostering collaboration, embracing innovation, and empowering its young people, Africa can build a future where everyone benefits from a digitally inclusive society.

Neema Mujesia is the communications officer at KICTANet. She works in the Gender Digital Rights Program and advocates for human rights for all in the technology industry.


Neema Mujesia information

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1 Comment

  1. Victor

    This is so well articulated 👏🏽.


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