Tuesday 20 Aug 2019

Africa's Tech and Creative Industry leaders and forward-thinking ecosystem builders kick started opportunities to demonstrate the immediate value of the AfCFTA agreement.

The 2-day meetup in Kigali, Rwanda held from 15 to 16th August 2019, gathered a group of African technology and creative industry leaders as well as forward-thinking ecosystem builders in collaborative sessions recommended the governance structure, definitive guide on the goals and objectives of the group in relation to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). From technology and innovation point of view, the meetup showed opportunities in the immediate value of the free trade agreement while building businesses that can create unprecedented value.

Sessions were organized by the Africa Technology and Creative Group’s (ATCG), a coalition of technology and creative professionals who are working with the initiative to create useful frameworks and reference points for the success of the free trade area. The African free trade area was launched for its operational phase during the summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) on 7th July 2019 in the Niamey, Niger. 

The fundamental objective was to mobilize grassroots actions in the tech and creative industry to make AfCFTA work for Africans. The group brings a message to deferent stakeholders that AfCFTA means to general public prosperity, dignity, cheaper and diverse products for private sector led enterprises. It means opportunities of new market connections, best business practices, partnerships and innovation for business operating in Africa. For government institutions AfCFTA means making it happen (Policies, ease of doing business and infrastructure development), economic and social stability, internal and cross border trade, security, intellectual property and laws. A for financiers and/or investors AfCFTA means better investment opportunities, scalability and harmonized cross border trade regulations. 

Key note speakers, Oby Ezekwesili, former World Bank Vice President and Clare Akamanzi, Head of Rwanda Development Board spoke on different topics including fighting corruption in Africa and Rwanda’s desire to become a proof of concept nation powered by the implementation of policies supporting technology development, digitization of public and private instructions; and knowledge based economy.

According to Norbert Haguma, co-founder at AfricaGen, a Kigali-based incubator, who spoke about the African Digital Index (ADI), there are height categories of indexes that will set the foundation of digital economy data analytics. Those are energy, access to broadband, human capital, online content consumption, business digital integration such us measurements on the use of e-commerce systems powered by enterprise resource planning systems, governments digital integration such as the use of e-government systems, digital rights & policies and regulation and research and development indexes.