Ghana led some five African countries to sign the Smart Africa Trust Alliance (SATA) declaration on data and digital identity interoperability. The four other countries were Zimbabwe, Gabon, Tunisia and Guinea, who together with Ghana, signed as foundation members of SATA.
The signing, which took place at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, sets the tone for both public and private sector digital platforms to integrate and improve their reach and patronage across the member-states.
Minister of Communications and Digitalisation Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who signed on behalf of Ghana, noted that SATA will improve the uptake and reach of public digital services, private sector integration and national digital platforms patronage. “Also, SATA will enhance additional revenues from higher service and platform usage and ensure compliance with requirements from people and companies moving/doing business across borders,” she said.
According to her, SATA will reduce government bureaucracy when working or travelling in another country, save time and money, create jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, as well as provide safer and better service experience in digital services and commerce.
Ursula Owusu Ekuful noted that with a growing, educated, motivated and youthful population, Africa is positioned for growth, which will be accelerated using modern digital technologies.
She, therefore, commended the commitment of African leaders to work together among countries by adopting the SATA Declaration during the Smart Africa Board Meeting to address the challenge of trust between the member-countries to pave the way for digital interoperability.
“On behalf of our alliance, I wish to… congratulate Smart Africa and its Director General/CEO, Lacina Koné, for the courage and leadership in achieving this foundational step toward our integration and unity. It is always inspiring to witness the vision, passion and commitment to the development of Africa through modern technologies that we all share, and also the growth and expansion of Smart Africa in recent years,” she said.
Looking ahead, the minister said she finds it encouraging that Smart Africa strengthened its three strategic pillars, connect, innovate and transform, in the new Smart Africa Triennial Strategy 2023-2025, adding that SATA being included in the transform pillar is a testimonial of the quality of this strategy.
Ursula Owusu called on all parties to respect the commitments they have made on the SATA principles and to respect them in good faith for the benefit of all African citizens. “You can rely on the full support and solidarity of the Republic of Ghana in this important endeavour,” she assured them.
She believes that going forward, the members-states could work together to unlock the incredible economic growth and opportunities that they have seen thus far to the benefit of Africa and the entire world.