SMART Africa is a bold and innovative commitment from African Heads of State and Government to accelerate sustainable socioeconomic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge economy through affordable access to Broadband and usage of Information and Communications Technologies.
The Transform Africa Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda on 28th-31st October 2013 culminated in the adoption of the Smart Africa Manifesto document by seven (7) African Heads of States (Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Mali, Gabon, Burkina Faso) in which they committed to provide leadership in accelerating socio-economic development through ICT’s.
On 30th-31st January 2014, The SMART Africa Manifesto was endorsed by all Heads of State and Government of the African Union at the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa. This development places the Manifesto at the heart of the ICT agenda in Africa beyond just the 7 original signatories at the Summit to all the 53 African countries.
The Smart Africa Alliance has since grown to include 30 African countries that represent 700+ million people.
The Alliance is a framework for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the SMART Africa Manifesto designed to make it actionable. Currently, the Alliance is a partnership bringing together all African countries adhering to the Manifesto represented by the AU, the ITU, World Bank, AfDB, ECA, the GSMA, ICANN and the Private Sector.
Besides its initial membership, other organizations and countries sharing the same vision, interests and goals will be admitted to the Alliance.
The SMART Africa Alliance has five pillars which reflect the five principles of the Smart Africa Manifesto. These pillars are (1) Policy, (2) Access, (3) e-Government, (4) Private Sector/Entrepreneurship and (5) Sustainable Development.
The pillars mentioned above are built on four, cross-cutting enablers which will support the implementation of SMART Africa. These enablers are (1) Innovation (2) Communications and Advocacy (3) Capacity Building and (4) Resource Mobilization.
The five pillars and four enablers, when effectively developed and combined, will contribute to Economic Growth and Job creation which remains the ultimate goal of the Smart Africa Manifesto.