Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the Economic Commission for Africa on Monday on matters regarding regulatory environments and the work that needs to be done by African government to create conducive conditions for growth and development. His remarks were made at the 4th annual Africa Business Forum.
President Kenyatta also noted the importance of setting up frameworks that bolster research, innovation, and novel policy structures. He cited these focus points as integral in facilitating and supplementing the goals of the recently launched AfCFTA.
The importance of investing in technological resources was also raised. The President noted the importance of technology in aiding the sustainable development of small and medium scale enterprises in Africa’s post-pandemic economic landscape, especially in terms of mobilizing the youth and other social groups that were previously limited in their economic participation.
The event also hosted a discussion between President Kenyatta and Crescence Elodie Nonga, the founder of Women in Entrepreneurship and Technology (WETECH). The two discussed the role of women in Africa’s ‘technological renaissance’, education as a valuable means of empowerment, as well as the specific challenges and barriers to entry that women still face in the technological sector.
Kenya is considered one of the role models in Africa for technological growth. Dubbed the “silicon savannah” by some, Kenya’s technology policy centers on five pillars which include providing affordable and accessible digital infrastructure and developing a digital culture across all facets of Kenyan society.
Africa Business Forum is an annual event held in Addis Ababa at the ECA headquarters that aims to promote dialogue between the private and public sectors with a different focus every year. The theme for this year’s forum is “Innovative Finance: building forward to the sustainable development goals” an ode to the developmental gaps brought to the forefront due to the pandemic and other tumultuous events of the previous year.