On the occasion of this launch, Mr. Lacina Koné, Managing Director of Smart Africa, praised the political will of African governments to transform the digital landscape of the continent and underlined the support of Smart Africa.
“Nations increasingly recognize the role of digital technologies in transforming the socio-economic situation and the determination to adopt them is palpable. Through initiatives like SADA, the Smart Africa Alliance is committed to supporting national efforts to close the digital skills gap. We are happy to revive NOW in Côte d’Ivoire, an important country in the alliance,” he explained.
Cooperation with the World Bank and Germany
Representing the German government, one of the main donors of the SADA initiative, Mr. Marton Köver, Chargé d’Affaires at the German Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire, emphasized that “a fair and equitable legal framework is essential for as many Africans as possible to benefit from the digital transformation” — a milestone Ivory Coast has now made with SADA.
In addition to SADA, the Agile Regulatory Program for Digital Transformation (AReg4DT) was launched in cooperation with the World Bank and GIZ.
Director of World Bank Operations for Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Guinea and Togo, Ms. Coralie Gevers, also said that “capacity building and knowledge sharing between African countries is essential to support the implementation of Africa’s Digital Transformation Strategy 2020-2030 and Côte d’Ivoire has an important a role in the exchange of knowledge among colleagues and demonstrating the benefits of applying the principles of agile regulation for dynamic, inclusive, sustainable and secure digital markets, which was demonstrated recently by the adoption of the National Digital Development Strategy 2025.”
Capacity building in cyber security
The launch of SADA in Côte d’Ivoire heralds the implementation of various capacity building programs in cyber security, advanced training such as Big Data and IoT, teacher training, executive training, advanced training in ICT, among others. In addition, Côte d’Ivoire is set to host the first cyber security innovation center for young people. Currently, Côte d’Ivoire is leading the leading Smart Africa cyber security program.
In this regard, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Smart Africa Alliance and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy of Côte d’Ivoire, one of the elements of which is to supply SADA with specific capacity building interventions related to the country’s priorities in the ICT sector.
Speaking about the launch of SADA, the Ivorian Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Amadou Coulibaly, stated that “SADA-Côte d’Ivoire will be one of the key means for the operationalization of projects in the nature of “awareness and training” 4th pillar of the National Digital Strategy for 2025, which has a specific goal of developing and promoting digital skills”.
Digital literacy and unemployment reduction
As a dynamic pan-African learning ecosystem, SADA aims to improve digital skills qualifications, employability and meet the talent needs of African citizens. The National Digital Academy will support priority digital skills needs uniquely identified at national level. In addition, such national digital academies will soon be launched in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti and Sierra Leone.
SADA is also launching two new programs aimed at training young people, entrepreneurs and African citizens in general, to improve their skills in digital technology, reduce unemployment and increase the digital entrepreneurial capacity of young people in Africa. The SADA digital literacy program will enable all African citizens to become familiar with digital technology.
Since the start of its activities in August 2020, focusing on Capacity Building for Decision Makers (CBDM) and National Digital Academy modules, SADA has trained around 3,000 decision makers and policy makers in 26 countries on related topics. Digital transformation and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence use cases, digital economy, 5G connectivity, data protection and privacy, rural broadband policies, security technologies, regulatory and innovation sandboxing environments, data centers and the cloud, digital identity for the underserved, electronic payment etc. The goal is to reach more than 22,000 trained users by 2023, through the implementation of SADA in partner countries.