“Technology can support Africa’s COVID-19 response and recovery” , AU Commissioner Abou-Zeid said
The African Union Commission (AUC) was invited by the UK Department for International Trade to a webinar on ways technology can support Africa’s COVID-19 response and recovery.
The virtual meeting was chaired by HM Trade Commissioner for Africa, Emma Wade-Smith, and had AU Commissioner Dr.Amani Abou-Zeid, leading UK firms as well as British and African SMEs , as participants. The webinar discussed the challenges and opportunities of Covid-19 crisis in Africa and explored ways partnerships with tech firms can support economic recovery.
In her remarks H.E. Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid said that “Dealing with the health and economic challenges of COVID-19 has made one point abundantly clear for African countries : that we need broadband, faster, cheaper, and expanded to the last mile of our populations.”
She highlighted tech solutions which can augment existing health infrastructure. “Healthtech can bring immediate and seamless healthcare to patients through affordable solutions such as telehealth and telemedicine, leading to healthcare inclusion”, she explained.
The AU Commissioner also pointed to the opportunities for digitalisation and intra-african trade brought forward by the current crisis, due to increased reliance on online services and transactions as well as local and Continental supply chains. She highlighted the importance of innovative partnerships with tech companies and entrepreneurs to bridge the digital gap in Africa and boost Africa’s digitalisation and trade.
It is worthy to mention that AUC has developed Africa Digital Transformation Strategy (DTS) , which was approved in February 2020 by heads of States and governments. Recently, AUC formulated a digital emergency plan to support efforts to fight the pandemic in Africa