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Promoting digital transformation in Africa

An Innovation Days event held in Burkina Faso brought together academic and civil society stakeholders from Europe and Africa to brainstorm solutions to digital transformation challenges.

Digital Economy icon Digital Economy

In February 2023, it was Burkina Faso’s turn to benefit from the Innovation Days event supported by the EU-funded IDEA D4D HUB project. The Innovation Days bring together European and African stakeholders from academia and civil society organisations to co-create solutions for the problems encountered in the digital transformation process. The event was held in the West African country’s capital Ouagadougou from 21 to 23 February. More than 75 participants gathered to discuss the challenges they face, share best practices and work together to build solutions to strengthen digital transformation in Burkina Faso.

Digital turns challenges into change

The Innovation Days form part of IDEA D4D HUB’s goal to strengthen stakeholders’ capacity to take part in the development of a digital economy and society that safeguards democratic values and rights in the interaction between citizens and technology. According to a news item posted on the ‘Irish Tech News’ website, Guillermo Fernández-Mardomingo, Programme and Policy Officer at the EU Delegation in Burkina Faso, commented during the Innovation Days opening ceremony: “Our objective is to see how digital tools, digital transformation can really serve actions and convert challenges into targets and areas of change.” The country’s Permanent Secretary for Innovation and Monitoring of Emerging Digital Technologies Dr Yaya Traoré, representing the Minister of Digital Transition, stated in the same news item: “I welcome this initiative which further confirms the government’s tireless efforts and reinforces its actions in the field of digitalization and digital entrepreneurship.” IDEA D4D HUB’s vision is to strengthen cooperation and strategic partnerships in digital research and innovation between Europe and Africa, while also promoting sustainable development. Speaking at the launch of the Innovation Days, Digital for Development (D4D) expert and IDEA consortium representative Capucine Gonnord noted: “The E and A at the end of the IDEA project name refers to Europe-Africa. We should not see Europe on one side and Africa on the other. Today, we are talking about Europe-Africa. We need to learn from each other and develop continuous dialogue between countries and between continents, and this is what is at stake in this project.” Burkina Faso’s Innovation Days followed those organised as part of the IDEA D4D HUB (“Innovation Dialogues Europe-Africa” D4D Hub) project in Mozambique the previous year. Next in line after Burkina Faso are Morocco and Uganda. In addition to the Innovation Days, the project is also helping to further inclusive digital transformation in Africa through capacity-building activities and the creation of synergies with other EU-backed activities. For more information, please see: IDEA D4D HUB project website

Keywords

IDEA D4D HUB, digital transformation, Africa, Burkina Faso, Innovation Days

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