The inaugural Africa Digital Forum (ADF) which seeks to address the issues of digitalisation and its impact on trade in Africa will be held in Accra.
The forum is the maiden platform that seeks to bring key stakeholders in policy, regulation, industry, and academia to converge to deliberate on the necessity, challenges, and opportunities of digitalisation in fulfilling the potential presented by the continent-wide free trade area.
The Accra Edition will be held on the theme: ‘The Digital Challenge: Africa’s Opportunity Under AfCFTA’. The Forum, which is being organised by AIDEC Consultancies International Limited, is set to take place in Accra on Wednesday, 25 August 2021.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which came into effect on January 1, 2021, provides market access to 1.2 billion people and a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion across all 55 member states of the African Union.
Speaking ahead of the Forum, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AIDEC Consultancies International Limited, Mr Ambrose Yennah, stated that Accra was chosen as the destination for the maiden edition as it currently served as home to the AfCFTA Secretariat.
“We are quite concerned about applying digitalisation to ensure that goods and services meet the prerequisite standards, particularly for the anglophone and francophone markets — which represent the biggest on the continent — as well as other markets.”
Sensitisation of players
The Chairman of the Board at AIDEC Consultancies International Limited, Prof. Robert Yennah, stated that the Forum would serve as a platform for regulators to sensitise players in their respective spaces to the matters of policy. It would also provide indigenous institutions that focus on digital solutions for businesses, a ready platform to showcase their products and services.
“We have been able to pool together some of the best indigenous human resources in the area of ICT, who are able to provide solutions to big multinational corporations, as well as small businesses who are struggling to be part of the digital world.”
The hybrid event will see the Secretary-General of AfCFTA, Wamkele Mene; Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Richard Okyere-Fosu; Scientist, Prof. Nii Narku Quaynor; the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah.
The rest of the speakers are the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, Prof. Alex Dodoo; and the Dean of the University of Ghana Business School, Prof. Justice Bawole. They are billed to speak on subjects such as developing smart cities, cross border trade protocols, standardisation and skill development, among others.
This gathering of regulators, academics and business people; from Club 100 companies to budding small and medium size enterprises, and even non-governmental organisations will ensure that the most pertinent issues confronting all stakeholders wil be discussed and solutions proffered.