COVID-19 Update: AYLS turns virtual summit
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During this sudden outbreak, the world faced an accelerated transformation to digital alternatives in all possible sectors globally. This change was experienced in different levels from government responses to the pandemic, education, and private sectors. We can say that the African experience was more different as it has its own challenges to adapt to the situation.

The COVID-19 pandemic is considered a turning point for the African continent towards a digital revolution taking into consideration the particularities of the African context. One of the major issues faced in the continent is related to the political situation in many African countries where sudden shutdowns of internet connection are common and frequent. Other local challenges should be taken into consideration too, as underdeveloped infrastructure and cultural determinants.

Africa is a hub of unmet needs and full of opportunities for young ambitious entrepreneurs who are eager to solve real-life challenges and consider social impact using digital tools. This crisis is an acceleration for the tech trend in Africa and could be a growth opportunity for the industry in many countries. One of the major digitalization challenges of the current outbreak is the lack of population's access to technological devices due to poverty that's why partnerships with big tech companies around the world are strongly needed and recommended. These partnerships can be by investment and incubation of young tech startups meeting the needs of the continent by its own talents.

In this direction and in order to adapt to the global pandemic, the African Youth Leadership Summit is organized this year virtually under the theme "Digitalization for an Africonnected" in four days with the aim of reflecting on how to transfer, diffuse and adopt the Information and Communication Technologies within the African context through interactive workshops and open discussions with a large network of engaged and responsible participants from the continent all sharing the same challenges

The Fourth industrial revolution represents a fundamental change in the way we
live, work, and progress. It is a new chapter of our lives also known as the "Digital revolution", it improves our standards of living by advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Blockchain that can enhance new job opportunities and emerging markets.


The ICT sector in Africa has been growing in recent years, various studies note,
the "information economy" is becoming one of the main drivers of economic growth in some countries, as South Africa, Tunisia and Tanzania. Mobile technologies and services have generated 1.7 million direct jobs (both formal and informal), contributed to 144$ billion of economic value (8.5 percent of the GDP of sub-Saharan Africa), and contributed 15.6$ billion to the public sector through taxation (*).


The African continent has its own particularities facing this new digital era. One
of the major issues faced in the continent is related to the political situation in many African countries where sudden shutdowns of internet connection are common and frequent. Other local challenges should be taken into consideration too, as underdeveloped infrastructure, cultural determinants, and the lack of population's access to technological devices due to poverty. Despite these obstacles, the African market is full of unmet needs and good entrepreneurial opportunities for young local entrepreneurs.

(*) GSM Association, The Mobile Economy: Sub-Saharan Africa 2019 (London: GSM Association, 2019)

Companies specializing in digital marketing are growing like mushrooms on the continent and the diaspora is not on the sidelines of this phenomenon which is revolutionizing consciousness at the business level.

The birth of the new era of digital consumption during the pandemic surged to bigger numbers, even individuals who were still tamed by the usage of digital tools found themselves urged to embrace new rituals in which digital tools are inexorable.

Digital technology is changing our relationship with consumption, and commercial prospecting methods are also evolving at breakneck speed, particularly in countries where the number of smartphones is greater than the number of inhabitants. Marketing is one of the sectors most affected by this digital transformation.

Entrepreneur, when starting a project, has to be versatil, taking care of the accounting but also the commercial aspect and even the management of human resources. Note that, the emergence of marketing with a digitalization of processes is undeniable, but we have to professionalize the quality of service for local businesses, allow them to have the right tools to measure the attractiveness of their businesses on the Net.At this rate, if the growth of companies follows the rise of digital technology, several thousand jobs can be created throughout the African continent.

The 3rd edition of African Youth Leadership Summit under the theme of Digitalization for an Africonnected is the result of a long reflection which started back in 2019, by chance it falls in a great position during the current context. You could almost say that this is a fairly simple idea given these multiple references and skills gathered in previous editions coming as a succession of interrelated themes.