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African countries urged to fully embrace digitization

Technology experts have urged African countries to adopt digital services and modernize their communications.


They made the call on Wednesday while participating in the Third Africa and Digitalization Conference and Public Media Alliance Regional Meeting for Africa in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali.


The four-day workshop brought together participants from 14 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and three member states of the East African Community (EAC), namely Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

The meeting organized by Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) and Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA) seeks common agenda for effective information dissemination using the power of technology.

“Through information communication technologies (ICTs), the world has become one global marketplace of ideas, knowledge, goods and services. Countries which have embraced ICTs have registered strong economic development, over those that lag behind in the adoption of technologies,” said Salim Amin, a technology expert.

He noted that African countries should consider going digital because the world is in the era of “knowledge-based economy” that is characterized by the persuasive influence of ICTs.

The forum dubbed “Opportunities for Africa beyond the Digital Deadline” focuses on reviewing the current media landscape in light of digitalization and the need for new multimedia content in Africa.

Clement Mshana, acting president SABA said that for Africa to achieve inclusive economic transformation, technology must be at the heart of any African nation’s governance system.

“Technological advancement is crucial to all societies worldwide. Governments that have applied ICTs had increased operation efficiencies and minimized human error which has improved service delivery,” he stated.

Speaking at the conference Rwanda Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi said that ICT sector lays ground for fast-tracking development in Africa in speeding up operational side of the traditional sector despite less adoption in some African countries.

“Multimedia has power to shape opinion, inform trends, link cultures and change way people embrace modern technologies,” he observed.

Murekezi noted that Rwanda has embraced the power of ICT whereby the country installed more than 4500km of fiber optic in all districts across the country, connecting schools, hospitals and judiciary.

“To increase access to broadband, Rwanda introduced 4GLT technologies in all major towns and the aim is 100 percent coverage in few years,” he said.

The Digitization conference will also review the purpose of the type of content public broadcaster provide and whether it is relevant to the needs of Africans in a globalized world,

The post genocide nation is among a few countries in Africa that have rolled out a high-speed 4G broadband network that delivers download speed of up to 100 Megabytes per second.

Rwanda has been ranked among top ten countries in Africa that are most dynamic performers when it comes to Information Communication Technology development.

According to the 2015 global ICT report released by the World Economic Forum Rwanda has made considerable improvements to exploit the potential of ICTs to drive social and economic transformation and catch up with more advanced nations. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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