May 11, 2022 (ENA)  Innovation Africa Digital Summit geared towards developing platforms and content that transform digital infrastructure into life changing services is underway in Addis Ababa.

Several content and service providers from around the world are in attendance of the two-day conference.

In her keynote speech, Innovation and Technology State Minister Huria Ali said Ethiopia’s Digital Transformation Strategy, named Digital Ethiopia 2025, puts developing an inclusive digital economy at its core.

Creating digitally enabled jobs and enabling other sectors of the economy is among the major objectives of the Homegrown Economic Reform agenda of Ethiopia as well as the Digital Ethiopia 2025 Strategy, she added.

Since digital inclusion helps to make the internet serve all segments of the society without discriminations, the government has attached great importance to the sector.

According to her, the number of internet subscription has jumped over 29.83 million and mobile users more than 58 million. Ethio telecom has also started providing 5G services in the capital city.

Creating and maintaining digital content is very expensive, unless there is the right business model and functioning ecosystem in place, Huria noted, adding that in this regard the government, local content providers, telecom operators, and global platform providers should play their irreplaceable role in ensuring the sustainability of digital contents.

Ethiopian Communication Authority Director General, Balcha Reba said on his part telecom and ICT are prime engines to move every sector.

Even though content regulation in the digital space is one of the greatest challenges facing the world, there is a possibility to protect the right of people in the digital space.

The responsibility to protect the rights of people in the digital space lies with everyone, most notably law enforcement agencies, policy makers, regulators, network operators, ISP’s and data hosting companies.

According to him, a formalized approach to content regulation for all new existing and future converted media platform is necessary for countries to balance freedom of  expression, access to information and protection of consumers.

The borderless digital space catalyzes common global requirement and sustainable solutions that are definitely agile in order to be responsive and proactive to the peer advancement of the technology, the director general said, adding that there is no country that can operate in isolation when it comes to content regulation any longer.

Balcha pointed out that ‘‘collaboration is key to the continent’s approach through discussion, deliberation, and sharing the best practice for Africa. This is necessary given the diversity of culture content, consumption patterns access and social norms and values that exists among African countries to collectively find common ground.’’

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