Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has urged African countries to invest more in digitalization in order to accelerate economic development.
The Zambian president said on Thursday that accelerating economic growth through technology will help African countries develop faster, a situation that will boost trade, create jobs, and bring efficiency in service delivery.
In remarks delivered at the 2023 pan-African Digital Government Summit which has brought together participants from about 30 African countries, Hichilema said employing digital technologies at border posts could reduce the time people spend to clear goods and increase revenue collection.
“I want to argue here today that if we want as African countries to grow our economies faster, efficiently, effectively, with optimality injected in that, we have to accelerate our digital advances,” he said.
According to him, African countries have no option but to invest resources in digitalization or risk being left behind by other countries in the world that are making giant strides in digitalization.
The Zambian president said Africa will find it difficult to trade or interact with other countries or benefit from technological development if the continent fails to invest robustly in digitalization.
He, however, assured that the current leaders in Africa understand the importance of digital transformation because of the benefits that come, such as having 24-hour economies.
Zambian Minister of Technology and Science Felix Mutati said African countries are joining efforts to redefine the future of digital transformation to improve government operations and people’s livelihoods.
He said the summit’s expectations call for governments to harness the power of technology to grow economies.
The meeting, slated for Oct. 4-6, was expected to discuss various issues, such as solutions that will trigger and unlock digital dividends in delivering cost-efficient services in various sectors.