DITE for Africa

DITE for Africa

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Over the next half-century, our world anticipates recreating itself at the nexus of two pivotal global trajectories. The first is the pursuit of an ecologically sustainable growth economy, driving the imperative for a seamless transition towards clean energy, while the other is the rapid ascent of the digital era, where technology adoption and the requisite skills propel us towards unparalleled advancement.

In accordance with the projections by the United Nations, it is foreseen that by 2050, Africa will comprise 26% of the global population. At present, the continent boasts the distinction of having the youngest population worldwide, with 70% of its youth below the age of 30. This distinctive demographic makeup, coupled with Africa's rapid population expansion, the promise of a demographic dividend, a pulsating entrepreneurial ethos, and an ever-increasing embrace of connectivity, collectively underscore Africa's potential to recalibrate its environmental stewardship that ushers a smarter, more conscientious, and environmentally conscious global paradigm shift.

Yet, amidst these encouraging potentials and notable advancements, Africa confronts three intrinsic challenges that are pivotal to its effective contribution to the Global Digital Compact: the digital infrastructure gap, inadequate policies for governing emerging technologies, and the digital skills divide. It is within this intricate backdrop that the inception of the Digital Center of Excellence on Digital ID, Trade, and Economy takes root—a manifestation of the Economic Commission for Africa's unwavering commitment to bridging these divides.

ECA's Digtial Center aim encompasses two pivotal facets: firstly, to augment the capacities of our esteemed member states in crafting and executing initiatives that channel the potential of new technologies towards sustainable development; secondly, to fortify the adoption of the Good Digital ID framework Principles as catalysts for both digital transformation and the attainment of inclusive growth.

In this dynamic and transformative landscape, our Digital Center stands poised to be an indispensable catalyst for change, fostering collaborative endeavors, innovative solutions, and visionary strategies that will define Africa's role in shaping the global digital narrative. As we embark on this journey, we do so cognizant of the challenges ahead, yet driven by an unshakeable belief in the potential of technology, innovation, and unity to surmount them.

Mactar Seck
Chief, Technology and Innovation Section
ECA Digital Center of Excellence on Digital ID, Trade, and Economy
Technology, Climate Change, and Natural Resources Management Division (TCND)