Youth Digital Literacy and Equity: Leveraging the digital transformation process to achieve sustainable growth and development
In 2018, the International Telecommunication Union reported that for the first time, more than 50% of the world’s population was using the Internet. Unfortunately, more than two-thirds of Africa (75.6%) lacked access to the internet.
There are several reasons for digital exclusion in African countries. In addition to lack of adequate broadband infrastructure, and digital illiteracy, controversial laws have contributed. In Uganda, a law that imposes a social media tax of 200 Ugandan shillings ($0.05) per day for citizens to use social media like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp led to a drop in internet usage rates from 47.4% to 35% in six months.
The digital divide in Africa is still driving inequality. We must ensure that every young person regardless of where they come from or background benefit from the opportunities technology can offer for education, health care, and among others.
In Africa today, technologies based on artificial intelligence (AI) have started changing our daily lives. Innovations are rolling out at an accelerated speed, not only in professional working environments but also at home and in schools. Delivering the promise of positive AI to the youth in Africa will require good systems of governance.