BMZ Africa Day

Launching of the Strategic Partnership "Digital Africa"

Africa Day at the BMZ (from left): Secretary of State Friedrich Kitschelt, the Rwandan ICT and Youth Minister HE Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda HE Christine Nkulikiyinka and the German Chancellor's Personal Representative for Africa and BMZ Commissioner for Africa, Günther Nooke

11.05.2015 |

Berlin - More than 100 international development experts and representatives of the internet community from Europe and Africa have come together today for the BMZ's second Africa Day. This year's Africa Day is entitled "Africa – Continent of Opportunities: Bridging the Digital Divide".

The focus of the event will be on the great opportunities which the digital world offers for development in Africa, and on ways of closing the digital divide in Africa and harnessing the benefits of technological progress in the IT sector for all people. At present, a mere 17 per cent of Africans have internet access, compared to 87 per cent in Germany.

State Secretary Friedrich Kitschelt pointed out that Africa has enormous potential: "New technologies and digitalisation are an important factor for sustainable development and for improving people's living conditions in very tangible ways: farmers can access information on crop prices more quickly, they can do banking transactions through their mobile phones, and children in remote areas can use e-learning programmes.

"In that context, it must be pointed out that creativity, entrepreneurship and inventiveness are not a monopoly of the industrialised nations. They are global. Many of the apps we have today came from Africa's start-up scene, which is particularly innovative. This shows that Africa is one of the world's fastest-growing ICT markets. So we can see that Africa is a continent of opportunities! We are working to support and foster that potential."

In future, the BMZ wants to further step up its cooperation with the private sector in the ICT sector. At the Africa Day, State Secretary Kitschelt will therefore present the Strategic Partnership "Digital Africa", which targets all German and European enterprises, inviting them to work with the BMZ to seize development opportunities by engaging in innovative cooperative endeavours with African businesses, institutions of higher education, and civil society.

In addition to State Secretary Kitschelt, participants in the Africa Day include Rwanda's ICT Minister Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the German Chancellor's Personal Representative for Africa and BMZ Commissioner for Africa, Günter Nooke, African Union Director of Infrastructure and Energy Baba Moussa Aboubakari, and AfriLabs Director Tayo Akinyemi.

For more information about the conference klick here.

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