The Global Gateway and the launch of the Digital4Development (D4D Hub) highlight the EU's ambition to support partner countries' digital transition. But what are the prerequisites for "meaningful connectivity" in Africa? What opportunities lie within the twin transition for young entrepreneurs and SMEs?
This panel saw speakers from diverse public and private backgrounds discuss different implications of Africa's journey towards a digital and green future. European public officials highlighted the EU's role in deepening ties with African partners to attain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Private sector speakers representing small and big enterprises on both continents focused on infrastructure, green business models, and decentralized growth. Civil society and youth leaders put an emphasis on human-centric digital transformation and what the twin transition means for the next generations.
The digital and green twin transitions are essential to Africa’s growth and development, but there are several obstacles, including low (digital) literacy, low participation in rural areas and a lack of affordability.
To support growth, people have to be meaningfully connected to the internet through regular access, appropriate devices and unlimited broadband at 4G-like speeds. Governments should also convene partnerships between regulators and telecom providers to build shared infrastructure that minimises costs.