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The Rise of Africa’s Digital Economy at the 2013 AGOA Forum

AGOA Forum 2013: August 13th Ministerial Session on the The Rise of Africa's Digital Economy
As part of the 2013 U.S. Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation (AGOA) Forum, held August 9-13 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, CLDP partnered with the US State Department to develop and conduct a panel focused on Entrepreneurship and Technology. The theme of this year’s AGOA forum was “Sustainable Transformation through Trade and Technology” and the CLDP-supported panel, “The Rise of Africa’s Digital Economy – Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the ICT Sector,” examined the emerging ICT space in sub-Saharan Africa and discussed growth opportunities and challenges. The August 13th Ministerial panel was co-chaired by Ms. Phyllis Kandie, Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of East African Affairs Commerce and Tourism of Kenya and Ms. Holly Vineyard, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, US Department of Commerce.

The session focused on digital business, government and the emerging digital consumer; increased access to IT through cloud computing, cell phones and broadband; and the spread of new digital technologies in the film, music, software and mobile app sectors.  Speakers on the panel, which included an emphasis on “doing business” aspects of the digital economy, such as innovation policies, intellectual property rights issues, investment considerations and skills development, were Ms. Sandra Ribeiro, Senior Project Manager, Government of Cape Verde; Mr. Robert J. Kayihura Director Legal & Corporate Affairs Microsoft Corporation; Dr. Bankole Sodipo, co-chair of the African Intellectual Property Group (AIPG), and Mr. Stephen Mallowah, CEO and Executive Director of the Kenya Anti-Counterfeit Agency. Finally, CLDP worked with the African Intellectual Property Group (AIPG) during the AGOA Forum as they connect to the larger efforts underway by the USG to assist in the development of Africa’s economy through the Forum.
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