In a keynote address at the Global Tech Africa Conference, U.S. Consul General Will Stevens emphasized the pivotal role of the United States in Africa’s technological development. The three-day event, hosted by the Ascend Studios Foundation, brought together key figures from the tech industry and government officials.
Stevens expressed gratitude to the organizers and acknowledged the contributions of Director General Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Herbert Wigwe of the HOW Foundation, Bunmi Akinyemiju of Venture Garden Group, and other esteemed guests.
Highlighting Africa’s potential, Stevens noted that the continent is home to some of the fastest-growing economies globally, with a youthful population set to shape the future. He underlined the importance of the U.S.–Africa relationship, focusing on trade, investment, security cooperation, and sustainable development.
The Consul General outlined the U.S. commitment to leveraging technology for positive change in Africa. In education, the U.S. supports initiatives like the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program and TechWomen, aiming to enhance digital learning platforms and provide students with access to technology.
Stevens emphasized U.S. collaboration in healthcare, showcasing partnerships with Nigerian entities like Healthbotics and Helium Health. The U.S. has been a major donor in health aid to Nigeria, contributing over $15 billion in the last two decades.
In agriculture, the U.S. supports efforts to improve productivity, trade, and food security. Programs like the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and Feed the Future (FTF) facilitate economic relations, providing farmers with agricultural inputs.
The Consul General praised the U.S. private sector’s significant role in African tech startups, with over 60% of venture capital funding in Nigeria coming from the United States. Despite global declines, U.S. investors remain keen on supporting the continent’s digital economy.
Stevens emphasized the transformative impact of U.S. investments in African startups, generating employment, boosting economic growth, and advancing innovation. U.S. technology companies like Google and Meta contribute to expanding internet access in Africa through significant investments in undersea cables.
He also unveiled the Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) initiative, launched by President Biden, aiming to strengthen digital access, increase commercial relations, and support digital literacy across the continent. The U.S. government has already invested $350 million into digital programming and plans to invest millions more.
Stevens concluded by reaffirming the U.S. commitment to Africa’s technological success, stating, “Nigeria’s success is Africa’s success, and Africa’s success is the world’s success.” He encouraged leveraging opportunities under the Prosper Africa initiative, emphasizing the Prosper Africa Tech for Trade Alliance to advance e-commerce and digital transformation.
The Consul General’s address resonated with the audience, fostering a sense of collaboration and shared responsibility for Africa’s digital future.