In August, 2019, Rwanda will host a special summit organized by India which seeks to share its technology footprint on the African continent.
India announced today during the ongoing Transform African Summit that it will hold a technology summit in the first week of August.
India a major Asian economic and technology giant feels that by sharing its unique digital initiatives it has implemented on the continent, African countries could learn from India’s experience.
Last year, the BRICS countries met for the 10th summit which largely explored collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
What Does India Offer?
National digital identification system – India has the world’s largest digital identification programme – ‘Aadhar’, literally meaning ‘foundation’.
‘Aadhar’has enrolled over a billion Indian residents and uses cloud technology to allocate a unique 12-digit identification number to each person based on their demographic and biometric information.
It is emerging as an important platform for linking individuals’ banking transactions, utility bills, telephone number and physical address.
Most African countries may hurriedly need to establish this identification system to make several services accessible to many citizens in their host countries.
Invest in building – and sharing – digital infrastructure . This initiative has triggered Several large-scale initiatives have developing India’s digital infrastructure at their core.
The Indian government has for example issued a Unified License for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs).
Unlike mobile network operators (MNOs), MVNOs do not have their own infrastructure; instead they ‘share infrastructure’ with established telecom providers who have excess network capacity.
Each MVNO then sells services, such as data for internet, at its own price.
As firms compete for market share, the cost of internet can fall, which would be particularly useful in African countries where the telecom market is more monopolistic.
India would also want to push Africa to take a targeted approach towards skills development.
India set up the National Skill Development Policy to provide an overall framework for all skills-related activities within the country, to link them with skill-demand centres and to align them with common standards.
A key aim is to improve attitudes to technical and vocational educational training (TVET) through awareness campaigns and introductory certificates in education. Similar policies will be useful in Africa where there is a very low demand for TVET.
In the mid 1960s, India launched its Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme and African countries have been the largest recipients.
During the India-Africa Forum Summit in 2008, India committed substantial support towards science and technology development in Africa.
It is this track of technology between India and Africa that the forthcoming summit will showcase.