Invest heavily in digital technologies, Kagame tells AU member states

12Feb 2019
Salome Kitomari
The Guardian
Invest heavily in digital technologies, Kagame tells AU member states

THE out-going Africa Union (AU) chairperson, Paul Kagame has called on member states to invest heavily in digital technologies as they are the future of the global economy.


Kagame made the call during his opening remarks on Sunday at the ongoing 32nd summit of Heads of States in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


This year’s theme states “Refugees, returnees and internally displacement persons: Towards durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa”.


Kagame who is also the President of Rwanda said the future of global economy is digital and the Summit will consider guidelines for a common African approach to digital identity management.


He said the move will increase economic inclusivity and trust for the citizens particularly in the context of growing regional integration.


“This is among the important step of what must be consistent and comprehensive efforts by the AU, and all members States, to prepare for technologies that are remaking global commerce, especially artificial intelligence, robotics, data mining and cyber security,” he said.


“We should no fear this changes, or attempt to delay them. That would be futile and counterproductive, they are the future engines of productivity and prosperity for our youth,” he added.


According to him, in order for Africans secure their peace they have to face the world as a unified bloc, work close with other regional organisations and the private sector to ensure the interest and right of Africans are guaranteed.


He said the AU would consider the specifications for the passport, which has so much excitement among the Africans since it will be the first with the idea proposed more than two years ago.


“This is the step forward on the path to full implementation of the protocol on the free movement of persons, which was also adopted last year,” he said.


For his part, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said the Summit is a unique and timely opportunity to share, challenge the notions and approaches that guide the response to the effects of forced displacement.


According to him, no country or region can tackle the issue of forced migration alone; it is a global phenomenon that requires concerted global action.


Mahamat added: “I too, for eight years of my life, was a refugee. Your voices as responders and policymakers are vital, but I urge you to include the voices of those who experienced first-hand, the reality of forced displacement.”


He said the scale, scope of the crises and their protracted nature require innovative as well as robust approaches that tackle the root-causes and implement approaches that support durable solutions.


“For this to occur we often find that resources are limited especially in areas where they are needed most. Countries that are recovering attract less global attention. Our search for solutions must also include assisting communities in their reconstruction efforts after they return home,” he insists.


Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, represented President John Magufuli, together with Minister for Foreign Affairs, East Africa, Regional and international Cooperation, Augustine Mahiga.


During the Summit, Kagame officially handed over the AU chairing to President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, who will lead AU until February next year when South African president Cyril Ramaphosa take over.






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