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Africa RIDD 2017

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Enhancing Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Education in Africa through the Internet

The first ever Africa Regional Internet and Development Dialogue was successfully held from 8-9 May in Kigali, Rwanda, in partnership with UNESCO and Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Youth and ICT. The event gathered 161 high level local and foreign experts from various organizations including AFRINIC, WACREN, UBUNTUNET, ASREN, ECOWAS, UNECA, AUC, African Universities etc.

Background

Africa is one of the largest continents of the world with abundant resources that are key to its economic growth. However, despite of its natural and human resources, the continent remains to be faced with considerable development challenges. Today, Africa stands at a crossroad. New opportunities are rising ahead. Through creating an enabling environment, Africa can bring a much-needed economic transformation and development if it uses these opportunities.

The Internet brings new development opportunities for Africa. The opportunities for an African economic breakthrough through the Internet are real and within reach. The democratization of entrepreneurship and innovation can open tremendous opportunities to African countries. But is Africa using these Internet of opportunities? Recently, there have been some encouraging signs of some African countries building their Internet infrastructure and creating a real economy around the Internet. Some of these countries are already reaping the benefits of the Internet economy. They are also using the Internet to transform all aspects of their economic, social and political lives but a lot still remains to be done.

Objective

The main objective of the 2017 Africa Regional Internet and Development Dialogue was to create a forum for all stakeholders to discuss the various opportunities and requirements for entrepreneurship and innovation as well as for education for this new age of the Internet. The conference is part of the global series of Internet Development conferences organized by the Internet Society with the aim of supporting the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore, the conference offered open high-level discussions addressing the following dimensions:

  • Internet and SDGs
  • Connecting the Next Billion
  • African Internet Economy
  • Opportunities for Africa’s education
Themes

The meeting will bring together stakeholders interested in using the Internet for the development of Africa to discuss about their different initiatives and create synergy amongst them for better impact. It will be a two-day program focusing on two major themes:

  • The African Internet Economy
  • The Use of Internet to Transform the African Education

The Africa Regional Internet and Development Dialogue will be hosted by Internet Society (ISOC) and the Ministry of Youth and ICT of the Republic of Rwanda. UNESCO is also a partner of the meeting. The event will also be held few days before Transform Africa Summit 2017. This is expected to elevate its overall value, ensuring high level participation from the region and beyond.

Study Papers

The internet Society launched two study papers at this event:

Find the event’s agenda, recording of the event livestream and event photos here.

Dr Dawit Bekele (right), Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for Africa, speaking during the opening of the inaugural African Regional Development Dialogue in Kigali, Rwanda on 8 May 2017. (Left to right: Indrajit Bannerjee, Director of the Knowledge Societies Division at UNESCO; Joyce Dogniez, Senior Director for Global Engagement at the Internet Society; HE Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Rwanda’s Minister for Youth and ICT; Dr Hamadoun Touré, Executive Director of Smart Africa; and Dr Dawit Bekele, Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for Africa.)

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Time

Monday 08 May 2017 –

Tuesday 09 May 2017

Location

Kigali Marriott Hotel

Featured speakers and panelists

Jean Philbert Nsengimana

Minister of Youth and ICT, Republic of Rwanda

Before joining the Government of Rwanda, Jean Philbert Nsengimana worked for: 1. Voxiva Inc. as a Country Director (2008-2010): Built and led teams that delivered award winning mobile health solutions:… Read more

Constance Bommelaer de Leusse

Senior Director, Global Internet Policy and International Organizations

Constance is currently Senior Director of Global Internet Policy and International Organizations at The Internet Society. Strategic thinker, coupled with experienced and practical hands-on approach, she is responsible for the… Read more

Indrajit Banerjee

Director, Knowledge Societies Division, UNESCO

Born in 1964, Mr Banerjee obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts and Sciences (1985) from the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry (India), and a Master of… Read more

Hamadoun Toure

Executive Director, SMART Africa Alliance

In October 2015 Hamadoun Toure was appointed as Founding Executive Director of SMART Africa Alliance and he took office in January 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda. Hamadoun was Secretary General of… Read more

Joyce Dogniez

Senior Director, Global Community Engagement

Joyce Dogniez is a passionate Internet user. Since 2013, this passion has been key to bringing the work of the Internet Society to life. Initially joining the organization as the… Read more

Abdoulkarim Soumailia

Secretary General, African Telecommunication Union

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