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May 3, 2022

Close gap to realize digital Africa, AfICTA boss urges ICT players

Akin Fadeyi Foundation kicks off ‘What Women Can Do’ competition

The Chairman of Africa ICT Alliance. AfICTA, Mr. Thabo Mashegoane has urged players in the industry body to continue closing the gap that exists between all sectors involved in shaping the Internet and delivering the information society to the realization of digital Africa through knowledge sharing, trade facilitation, and cross-African advocacy.

This was contained in his goodwill message at the weekend to mark the 10th anniversary of the African ICT body. Mashegoane while appreciating all the stakeholders involved in AfICTA’s milestone of success with optimism assured that the concerned private sector-led alliance was committed to fulfilling the promise of the digital age for everyone in Africa by connecting African ICT players for increased intra-African trade and collaboration.

According to him, “It is with great joy, pride, and honor that we announce the 10th-anniversary celebration of AfICTA – Africa ICT Alliance. AfICTA is a concerned private sector-led alliance. The alliance was founded in the year 2012 by six member nations including Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Tunisia and the Gambia, led by Dr. Jimson Olufuye, the founder, Past Chairman, and the Chair of the Advisory Council.

“The first decade has passed with huge achievements and some challenges but the hard work, steadfast dedication, and unwavering support of all our members both founding and emerging ensured the growth of AfICTA.

“Today, AfICTA has covered over 35 nations of Africa from the initial 6 pioneer members with about 300 registered ICT businesses (National Associations inclusive) across the continent”

“AfICTA in line with its Constitution has witnessed two impactful successive leadership tenures from Dr. Jimson Olufuye, the founder of AfICTA and CEO Kontemporary Konsulting, 2012 through 2018 to Engr. Hossam Elgamal, CEO Iken from 2018-2020 and former Egyptian Cabinet member; and now Mr. Thabo Mashegoane, former President, Institute of IT Professionals of South Africa (formerly the Computer Society of South Africa)since 2020”

AfICTA in its advocacy for prosperity and enabling environment for businesses in Africa has held nine consecutive Summits in different member nations and from the past experiences and outcomes of the summits, AfICTA continues to close the gap that exists between all sectors that are involved in shaping the Internet and delivering the information society to the realization of digital Africa through knowledge sharing, trade facilitation, and cross-African advocacy. In more specific terms, AfICTA summit, he said, promotes Public-Private Partnerships by enhancing links between businesses and governments across Africa.

“In 2018, the strategy to further deepen engagement and fast-track the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 was conceived, and that birthed organizing quarterly regional focused eConferences and capacity development seminars, discussing pertinent topics to each region in Africa and working with governments and other involved stakeholders in achieving the recommendations thereof”, he added.

According to AfICTA Chairman, in the past 10 years, the alliance has added its impactful voice to Internet Public Policy discussions at the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development through its Working Groups on Internet Governance Forum and Enhanced Cooperation.

He explained that the ICT alliance has similarly been active promoting the United Nations Internet Governance Forum and the African Internet Governance Forum.

“AfICTA also pioneered business engagement at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers , ICANN, Business Constituency, BC.

“We have thus accomplished partnerships with several international bodies of like minds and we continue to build on such relationships. Some of the partners are the African Union, ICANN-BC, European Union, United Nation on Economic Commission for Africa, Asian-Oceania Computing Industry Organization. AfICTA has indeed been identified as the leading digital business voice on the continent”, he further explained.

While taking stock of a few of the alliance’s engagement and activities, he informed that in 2018, six AfICTA ICT business experts from the five sub-regions of Africa represented the interest of African business during the AU Train the Trainers workshop as part of the Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa, PRIDA, initiative. Mr. Thabo Mashegoane also highlighted how he represented African Private Sector at the Digital for Development, AU-EU D4D Hub.

He on behalf of the entire board members appreciated the excellent support of their partners and sponsors including the Association for Competitive Technology – ACT, ICANN-BC, African Union – AU, Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization – ASOCIO, National Information Technology Development Agency – NITDA, Nigerian Communications Commission – NCC, Galaxy Backbone Plc Nigeria, World Information Technology and Services Alliance – WITSA, Alliance for Affordable Internet – A4AI, and International Chamber of Commerce on Business Actions to Support the Information Society – ICC-BASIS.

He commended the efforts of their committed members including Kontemporary Konsulting Ltd, the Computer Society of Kenya (CSK), the Egyptian ICT Organization (EITESAL), Institute of IT Professionals of South Africa (IITPSA). Others are MainOne Cable, Fintrak Software, Dot-Engee, DigiSphere Investment Ltd, Tech Law Development Services (TLDS), Whogohost, Qualisys, Bernsoft, ICONIS, Afenoid, Iken, Kemitel, Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), Diamond Security Consulting, Letago, Institute of Tomorrow, Kenya Wildlife Service, Data Analytics Privacy Technology Ltd (DAPT), and Systech, Techlife, and ASAS Media.

He  thanked members for their various support, enthusiasm, and involvement in Africa’s transformation, adding that he was hopeful for another decade of bigger achievements together.