smart africa's lacina koné talks

3 Factors Will Shape Africa’s Digital Future: Smart Africa’s Lacina Koné Talks

In April, Smart Africa held its Transform Africa Summit in Zimbabwe. Attended by 5 heads of state and ministers from 44 countries alongside 4,000 delegates from 91 countries, the event also saw the consummation of multiple deals significant for Africa’s digital future.

Smart Africa is a bold and innovative commitment from African heads of state and government to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development, ushering the continent into a knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and usage of ICT.

Over the years, the alliance has grown to include 39 African countries that represent over 1 billion people. For Lacina Koné, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Africa, three factors will shape Africa’s digital future. Read on to find how important these factors are.


Koné highlighted the abundance of talented youth in Africa, calling it the “youngest continent”. With tech-focused institutions of training springing up across the region, training is improving.

At the same time, global tech brands are setting up facilities on the continent, offering an avenue to nurture these talents of youngsters.

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The other important factor that would shape Africa’s digital future is how data from Africa can be incorporated into AI datasets to make it fairer and more representative.

As the AI revolution lures in the spotlight, concerns have been raised by its unrepresentativeness and its propensity to be Western-focused in its outcomes.

The CEO of Smart Africa believes that concern could soon be addressed, as efforts to harness African data become more successful in the near future.

He pointed to the rollout of e-citizen programmes that will bring thousands of government services online and produce reams of data, while stressing the value of data protection.


“As Africa becomes more digital, there is a tremendous opportunity in the area of cybersecurity,” Koné emphasised, elaborating on the final factor.

Since cybersecurity still leaves a lot to be desired, he believes the continent “will need to do more and collaborate with world leaders in the field” to lure in improvements.