Cairo, 12-13 September 2023 — The African Peer Review Mechanism, in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the National Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt co-hosted the TechGov Confluence on the Impact of Rapid Advancement of Technology on Governance in Africa in Cairo from the 12 -13 September 2023.
The main objective of the Expert Meeting is to establish a platform for APRM Member States to discuss and explore the challenges and opportunities presented by rapid advancement in technology on governance in Africa.
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is taking a pioneering step towards addressing the profound influence of technology on governance in Africa. An expert meeting, which took place in Egypt, has brought together distinguished group of thought leaders, industry experts, scholars, policymakers, and practitioners to delve into the challenges and opportunities arising from the rapid advancement of technology across the continent. Participants in the meeting included representatives from APRM member states, private sector entities (such as Google), academic institutions, and development partners (including UNESCO and UN DESA).
The global COVID-19 pandemic and recent conflict in Ukraine precipitated an urgent need for innovative solutions and revealed vulnerabilities within existing systems. This wake-up call underscored the importance of technology in confronting emerging challenges such as illicit financial flow, electoral challenges, cybercrime, cyberthreats, digital privacy, erosion of national sovereignty, low digital literacy skills, and other socioeconomic challenges.
The expert meeting, convened by APRM, marks a significant milestone in the organization's journey to reinvent its processes and rethink critical services to Member States. The central objectives of the gathering include:
Impact Assessment: Analysing the multifaceted impacts of emerging digital technologies and trends on governance in Africa.
Policy Formulation: Identifying potential policy interventions and strategies for APRM member states to harness digital technology for sustainable growth and development.
Risk Mitigation: Outlining inherent risks and opportunities associated with digitalization on key governance domains while providing actionable mitigation strategies for member states.
Best Practices: Exploring best practices and strategies for promoting the responsible adoption of digital technology in the context of governance in Africa.
Policy Frameworks: Reviewing existing regulatory and policy frameworks necessary for effective governance of digital technology in alignment with APRM’s mandate.
Economic Growth: Discussing the potential of leveraging digital technology for promoting social and economic growth and inclusion.
Capacity Building: Identifying capacity-building needs for policymakers, youth, and other key stakeholders to ensure effective governance of emerging digital technology in APRM member states.
The CEO of APRM, Professor Eddy Maloka, emphasized the critical role of technology in shaping governance during his remarks. He stated that the APRM is committed to mainstreaming technology into its core mandate. The objective is to empower member states with the tools, knowledge, and capacity to harness technology's transformative power for the betterment of their citizens.
Keynote speaker, H.E. Amara Kallon, Chairperson of the Committee of APR Focal Point and Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Sierra Leone, highlighted the growing significance of technology in Africa. He outlined the remarkable progress in tech adoption and innovation across the continent, underscoring the importance of prudent governance and strategic foresight in steering this digital transformation.
The APRM remains steadfast in its dedication to promoting responsible and effective governance in the digital age. The outcomes of this gathering are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping Africa's digital governance landscape.
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is a mutually agreed-upon instrument for self-monitoring, self-assessment, and self-improvement among African countries. Founded in 2003, APRM is dedicated to fostering good governance, economic development, and the sustainable utilization of Africa's vast resources.
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