Developing Countries Should Create the Interconnectivity That They Need

The chairman of the United Bank for Africa UBA, Tony Elumelu has said that developing countries need to put resources together to create the bandwidth, the internet access that they need.

He said in order to usher in the new revolution, developing African countries need to rise up to the challenges of digital divide, made more prominent by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elumelu was joined by the President of the Republic of Estonia, Kersti Kaijulaid, during an opening discussion at the online cross-continental hackathon, with the theme:

EU Africa the Post Crisis Journey

The discussion emphasized on the importance of bridging the digital divide.

Elumelu  said

The challenge in most developing countries is the issue of infrastructure, the digital infrastructure, the connectivity issue, the data availability – so what we all need to do in the developing world, realising today the interconnectedness of the world, is to put resources together, let’s create the bandwidth, the internet access that we need, and usher in the new revolution.

He highlighted the impact of the Tony Elumelu Foundation in addressing the issue of digital development.

He said

At the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we have created an ecosystem and a digital platform for African entrepreneurs called TEFConnect. TEFConnect brings young African entrepreneurs together. It is over a million people on the platform today and growing because we realise that this is one of the things we need to provide to young African entrepreneurs to enable them to realise their full potential.

President of Estonia, Kersti Kaijulaid in her opening remarks said

Common understanding of public and private sector is crucial – you have to give your country a digital core, in Estonia the X-road. My advice is to build a single simple system to guarantee the digital ID.

Others who also featured at the event include the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission, Dr Amani Abou-Zeid; commissioner in charge of International Partnerships in the European Commission, Ms Jutta Urpilainen; Luxembourg’s minister for Economy, Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Mr Franz Fayot; director general of Smart Africa, Mr Lacina Koné; founder of Angry Birds (Rovio) and Finest Bay Area Development, investor and supporter of the Ambitious Africa project, Mr Peter Vesterbacka, among others.