The Global Digital Compact: African Youth Engagement

July 11
1:00 pm
 – 2:30 pm

In September 2020, the United Nations marked its 75th anniversary with a political declaration, which paved the way for the Secretary-General’s report, Our Common Agenda, released in September 2021. This report proposes a Global Digital Compact (GDC), set to be endorsed at the Summit of the Future in September 2024. Led by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the GDC aims to establish “open, free, secure, and human-centred digital future”. The Compact will outline principles, objectives, and actions to achieve this vision, aligning with the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. As part of the Pact of the Future, a new set of commitments under Our Common Agenda, the GDC seeks to accelerate progress towards a more equitable and sustainable world, ensuring a new social and political order that benefits all while prioritizing planetary sustainability.

In this context, ECA, the Government of South Africa, OSET, the UN Regional Coordinator Office in South Africa, and UNDP organized the inaugural regional review workshop on July 4 – 5, 2023, in Cape Town. The workshop convened over 70 African stakeholders from 32 Member States, resulting in the formulation of the ECA’s African Policy Declaration, outlining Africa’s vision for a ‘digital future rooted in equity, accessibility, and resilience’.

After almost two years of consultations, on April 1st, the UN Tech Envoy Office released a zero draft of the Global Digital Compact (GDC), marking the initial milestone toward the Summit of the Future in September 2024. The UN initiated a process of intergovernmental and stakeholder consultations to refine the text toward global consensus, culminating in the release of GDC rev1..

On July 11th , UNECA in collaboration with the Pan-African Youth Ambassadors for Internet Governance ( PAYAIG) will host a virtual GDC African Youth Engagement on the latest draft. The Engagement seeks to investigate:

  1. Whether the current draft of the Global Digital Compact aligns with the needs and priorities of the African continent from a youth perspective;
  2. How African youth can engage meaningfully in the process to ensure the successful implementation of the GDC in African contexts, translating its principles into tangible realities on the ground.

Session recaps

Watch the full recording of the most recent consultation sessions.

Available on ECA’s Digital Center of Excellence YouTube channel

  • Global Digital Compact (GDC) | Africa Regional Open Consultation on Zero-Draft

  • Global Digital Compact GDC Data Deep Dive | in collaboration with the United Nations University, Center for Policy Research (UNU-CPR) and UN-EGOV

  • Global Digital Compact Deep Dive: African Private Sector Stakeholders | in collaboration with the African ICT Alliance (AfICTA).

Download the African Policy Declaration on the African contribution to the Global Digital Compact

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About the Global Digital Compact (GDC)

Set to be established at the Summit of the Future in September 2024, the Global Digital Compact (GDC) is the UN Secretary General’s roadmap to realize “an open, free, secure, and human-centered digital future”. The initiative aims to accelerate the achievement of the UN Vision 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and foster a new social and political framework beneficial to all and conducive to planetary sustainability.

Pan-African Youth Ambassadors for Internet Governance (PAYAIG)

The Pan-African Youth Ambassador for Internet Governance (PAYAIG), aims to empower 1000 African voices to shape the future of global internet governance and cultivate Africa’s internet governance ecosystem. This will ultimately contribute to fostering an open, inclusive, and secure internet for all across the continent, aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063.

For media and follow up inquiry:

Sorene Assefa,
Cybersecurity and Digital Governance Expert, ECA
Email: [email protected]

Abiy Goshu
Projects Communication Lead, Digital Center of Excellence, ECA
Email: [email protected]