All Africa Digital Economy Moonshot #DigitalAfrica

"A plan for building an inclusive digital future across Africa."

Digital innovation is creating unprecedented opportunities for Africa to grow its economy, create jobs, and transform people’s lives. With the aim to digitally connect every individual, business and government in Africa by 2030, the African Union, with the support of the World Bank Group, has embarked on an ambitiou... view more


Part One: Opening and introductory remarks by Entrepreneur and Media Personality, Julie Gathoni Sumira Gichuru.


Part Two: World Bank Vice President of Infrastructure, Makhtar Diop, provides a synopsis of policies to-date regarding Africa's digitization, while also presenting a framework for the additional steps that are necessary to be taken to meet remaining challenges.


Part Three: Paula Ingabire, Rwanda's Minister of ICT, describes Rwanda's experience in fostering wide-ranging connectivity and digitization within public and private enterprises alike, while also walking through the many challenges of this connectivity's upkeep. The panel discusses comparative cases within other regional African contexts.


Part Four: CSquared CEO, Lanre Kolade, describes the work and challenges encountered by CSquared in operating fibre networks in six cities across Uganda, Ghana, and Liberia.


Part Five: Panelists discuss general best practices to ensure that neither businesses, nor governments or individuals are left out of Africa's digital revolution.


Part Six: Panelists discuss how Africa's digital future is invariably dependent upon the education of students who will serve as the future leaders of government, business, and other platforms that need to be digitized. For this purpose, panelists suggest the types of skills and learning that must be fostered within today's educational institutions to meet the future needs of Africa's young.


Part Seven: Panelists explore new opportunities for regional state and public-private cooperation, through the establishment of mutually-beneficial partnerships.


Part Eight: World Bank Chief Executive Officer, Kristalina Georgieva, presents closing remarks on how Africa's digitization is critical for multiple desirable outcomes- such as increased food security and improved education- while also being a crucial stepping stone toward the 2030 SDGs.

About the Presenters

Kristalina Georgieva

Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank

Kristalina Georgieva is Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank. From February 1, 2019 to April 8, 2019, Georgieva was the Interim President for the World Bank Group. As Interim President, Georgieva was responsible for the World Bank Group’s efforts to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to boost shared prosperity around the world. As CEO for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association since January 2017, Georgieva has built support across the international community to mobilize resources for poor and middle-income countries and to create better opportunities for the world’s most vulnerable people. Georgieva has built a reputation as a gender equality champion, humanitarian, and leader in the global fight against climate change. As co-chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation, she is working alongside Ban Ki-Moon and Bill Gates to bring the issue of climate change adaptation on equal footing with mitigation on the policy agenda. At the World Bank and the European Commission, she has driven progress on gender balance, pushing toward a target of 40 percent women in management by 2019 at the European Commission, and achieving parity in senior management at the World Bank. And as co-chair of the United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, she secured the adoption of a much more effective system to meet the needs of record numbers of vulnerable people.

Lanre Kolade

CEO, CSquared

Lanre Kolade has been the Group Chief Executive Officer for CSquared since November 2018. He has over 21 years of experience in the telecommunications industry spanning both Francophone and Anglophone Africa. Before joining CSquared, he was Managing Director of Vodacom Business in Nigeria. He also previously served as Managing Director of Vodacom Business for the West, East, Central, & South-East regions in Africa. He is a graduate of Wits Business School, London Business School, and Obafemi Awolowo University, holding a BSc in Electrical Engineering/Telecoms. CSquared is a pan-African operator of wholesale, open-access broadband infrastructure. It was formed as joint venture between Google, investment firm Convergence Partners, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Japan-based Mitsui & Co, with the goal to improve and increase connectivity and access to internet in Sub-Saharan Africa. CSquared currently operates fibre networks in six cities across Uganda, Ghana, and Liberia, with over 40 mobile operators and internet service providers relying on its infrastructure for serving mobile consumers and corporate customers.

Noomane Fehri

PDG, B@Labs ; ancien ministre des TIC, Tunisie

Noomane Fehri is currently the CEO of B@Labs, launched by BIAT, the first privately-owned bank in Tunisia. B@Labs is a new economy incubator. He was Minister of Information and Communications Technologies in Tunisia from 2015 to 2016, and is known for being a reformer and a leader in the digital economy. Noomane, a geophysics engineer, held several management positions at Schlumberger in France, Libya, Norway, Algeria, Indonesia and Singapore. In 2000, he moved to London to join Atos, a European technology firm. After an international career in technology, he became involved in politics just after the Tunisian revolution. Among his achievements are the launch of 4G, the technology cards and the nationwide mobile development projects. His mandate has initiated the emergence of a Tunisian startups ecosystem which Noomane is now supporting through B@Labs.

Paula Ingabire

Minister of ICT, Rwanda

Ms. Paula Ingabire is a Rwandan technology enthusiast and politician, who currently serves as the Minister of ICT and Innovation of Rwanda. Before her current appointment She was Head of the Kigali Innovation City initiative and the former Head of ICT at the Rwanda Development Board. She is part of Girls in ICT Rwanda and has also been at the helm of Transform Africa, a platform that brings together innovators and policy makers across Africa to shape Africa’s digital transformation agenda. She was a Systems Design & Management Fellow at MIT.

Makhtar Diop

Vice President, Infrastructure, World Bank

Makhtar Diop is the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure since July 1st, 2018. The Infrastructure Vice Presidency comprises Energy & Extractives, Transport, Digital Development, Infrastructure Finance and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). In this global role, Makhtar Diop leads efforts to develop sustainable solutions and help close the infrastructure gap in developing and emerging economies. Mr. Diop brings to the post a deep level of experience and understanding of complex infrastructure challenges. His prior experience includes serving as Director for Finance, Private Sector & Infrastructure in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region. From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Diop held the position of World Bank Country Director for Brazil where the World Bank helped finance major infrastructure work and was the Bank’s Country Director for Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia. In addition to his international organization experience, Mr. Diop, an economist by training who started his career in the banking sector before joining the IMF and later the World Bank, has extensive private sector experience. He has also held government positions, most notably the position of Minister of Economy and Finance of Senegal, where he played a key role in instituting structural reforms aimed at laying a strong foundation for Senegal’s growth in the late 1980s. A recognized opinion leader in the economic and social development field, Makhtar Diop has been named one of the 100 most influential Africans in the world. In 2015, he received the prestigious Regents’ Lectureship Award from the University of California, Berkeley.

Julie Gathoni Sumira Gichuru


Ms. Julie Gichuru is an entrepreneur and media personality with investments across media, ICT, retail and entertainment sectors. She is a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative EA and hosts the pan African television show Africa Leadership Dialogues. Ms. Gichuru’s career in the media over the past 18 years has seen her work across the fields of broadcast, print and digital media, pioneering an impressive number of celebrated shows. Ms. Gichuru is the first African woman to receive the Martin Luther King Salute to Greatness for peace advocacy in Kenya in 2007 and 2008. Through her company ARIMUS MEDIA Limited Julie drives African conversations on leadership and development and oversees the production of quality African content. She is a Fellow of the United Nations Foundation Global Journalist Corps, she has been recognized by Women in Enterprise as one of the 60 Most Influential African Women in the World and is a Fellow of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Program. Ms. Gichuru has been recognized as a Young Global Leader under the World Economic Forum, and received the Order of the Grand Warrior from former President Mwai Kibaki for her contributions to nation building in Kenya.

Amani Abou-Zeid

Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission

Amani Abou-Zeid was elected AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy in 2017. Immediately before this she was the Director of the Africa Natural Resource Center and held other senior positions at AfDB. She has also worked with other international organizations on infrastructure and energy. She is a member of the Broadband Commission and the Stewardship Board for System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Energy. She has a PhD in Social and Economic Development from the University of Manchester, a Master’s in Public Administration from the Kennedy School, Harvard University, an MBA in project management from the Universite Senghor, and a BA Arts from the Sorbonne, and a BSc in electrical engineering from Cairo University.

Joseph Mucheru

Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Kenya

Mr. Joe Mucheru was appointed Cabinet Secretary by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2015. He was formerly the Google “Sub-Saharan Africa ambassador” as well as Google Country Manager Kenya, based in Nairobi. He joined Google in June 2007 where he lead the delivery of strategy, business planning and operations. Before joining Google, he worked at Wananchi Online, a company he co-founded in 1999. He held various roles at the company including Strategy & Business Director and CEO. He studied at London’s City University and also attended Stanford University’s Executive Program in 2008.

Omowale David-Ashiru

Andela Nigeria Director

Omowale David-Ashiru was appointed Andela’s Nigeria country director in September 2018. She is responsible for leading Andela Nigeria, a rapidly growing team of over 500 people, ensuring that the organization continues to advance its objectives of developing Africa’s future technology leaders. Before joining Andela, Omowale’s professional experience spanned almost two decades in management consulting and entrepreneurship, including eleven years at Accenture. Omowale then transitioned into entrepreneurship, launching a fashion retail company, which she managed for eight years. Her experience managing complex projects for global technology and financial services companies, combined with her entrepreneurial mindset, makes Omowale the right leader for Andela Nigeria.

Sahar Nasr

Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Egypt

Her Excellency Dr. Sahar Nasr was sworn in as the Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation on February 16, 2017, following her appointment as Minister of International Cooperation on September 19, 2015. Since assuming this role, Dr. Nasr has made several strides in enhancing the business environment and the investment climate, with the ultimate objective of promoting private sector participation. She has also focused on strengthening Egypt’s ties with its existing international partners, as well as exploring new opportunities for cooperation, all through the establishment of mutually-beneficial partnerships. This has involved consolidating Egyptian-Gulf relationships, expanding and deepening ties with African states, and exploring new relationships with Asian partners. Dr. Nasr also serves as Governor of Egypt to several institutions such as the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Dr. Nasr is a member of the Economic Development Council of the Presidential Office through which she provides economic consultations to the President and drafts proposals for the development of Egypt’s economic policies, coordinating and streamlining development initiatives and programs across different ministries and authorities, as well as to ensure the modernization of the economic performance system. Her Excellency was granted the 2015 prize of the most influential woman in the Arab economic sector. Dr. Nasr’s career, particularly her role as Program Leader and Lead Economist at the World Bank, involved designing and supervising numerous reform and finance programs in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe. She has accomplished numerous success stories in the areas of economic and financial strategy design; monitoring progress and implementation of financial sector programs including legislative, supervisory and structural reforms; development of SMEs to promote inclusive growth and job creation, design and management of social housing finance programs, as well as constructing partnership schemes between the World Bank Group, Governments of a diverse group of developing countries and other local/international organizations.

Stephanie von Friedeburg

Chief Operating Officer, International Finance Corporation

As the Chief Operating Officer for IFC, Ms. Stephanie von Friedeburg leads all IFC investment operations and advisory services, delivering private sector capital and solutions to create jobs, positive development outcomes, and opportunities in the world’s poorest and most fragile countries. In addition to overseeing new business, she manages IFC’s $55 billion debt and equity portfolio across 104 offices.Ms. von Friedeburg is an advocate for the advancement of women and a champion of diversity and inclusion, serving as Co-Chair of IFC‘s Diversity & Inclusion Council, and founding women’s networks at two international finance institutions. Ms. von Friedeburg holds a seat on the Global Business Initiative External Advisory Board for Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, as well as on the CIO Advisory Board for Greylock Partners. She is Director Emeritus of the Board of the Bank Fund Staff Federal Credit Union.