Africa Regional Review Meeting on Africa’s Contributions towards Global Digital Compact
The United Nations recognizes the transformative power of digital technologies and the need for international cooperation to harness their benefits while addressing their risks. In response to the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, a Declaration was adopted, highlighting the importance of digital cooperation and the need to shape a shared vision for a secure and beneficial digital future. As part of this, the Secretary-General’s report proposes the establishment of a Global Digital Compact, outlining principles for an open, free, and secure digital environment.
The United Nations emphasizes the importance of an open, free, and secure digital future for all. The Global Digital Compact aims to establish shared principles and regulations to guide digital development and promote trust, inclusivity, and sustainability. By actively engaging in the consultative process and providing input, stakeholders can contribute to shaping the Compact and influencing the international community’s actions in addressing digital challenges and opportunities.
Overall, the Global Digital Compact seeks to ensure that digital technologies are harnessed for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals while mitigating their negative impacts. It recognizes the pivotal role of international cooperation in shaping a digital future that benefits everyone, fosters innovation, protects human rights, and promotes global values.
The Digital Centre of Excellence of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) aims to bring together government institutions representatives, policymakers, academicians, private sector and civil society organisations to propose and review African contribution to the Global Digital Compact. The Global Digital Compact is an opportunity for Africa to contribute to the development of a more inclusive and equitable digital future.
The African continent has immense potential to shape the future of the global digital landscape. With a fast-growing population, a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, and increasing connectivity, Africa can make a significant contribution to the Global Digital Compact. Africa has the potential to be a major player in the global digital economy. However, Africa also faces significant challenges in terms of digital access, skills, and infrastructure.
Specifically, African contribution to the global digital compact will be geared to address the following:
- Ensuring universal access to the internet
- Protecting people’s privacy and cybersecurity
- Protecting human rights online and eliminating cyber based violence
- Fostering digital skills, including basic, intermediate, and advanced digital skills
- Promoting digital inclusion and addressing the digital divide, especially on gender and rural-urban digital divide
- Promoting the responsible use of emerging technologies for social and economic development, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain technologies, and IoT
It is expected that stakeholders will propose and review African contributions to the Global Digital Compact. Then the secretariat led by UNECA will develop the document which will be approved by stakeholders to be submitted as African contribution to the global digital compact. The document is expected to cover the following areas:
- Infrastructure Development
- Digital Skills and Education
- Digital Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Digital Inclusion and Gender Equality
- Data Governance and Privacy
This regional review meeting targets key stakeholders involved in fostering the digital ecosystem, in particular policy makers, development partners, academia, private sector and civil societies.