Sun, 27 Nov 2022

LUSAKA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- The 2022 Innovation Africa Ministerial Summit opened Wednesday in the town of Chongwe in Zambia's Lusaka Province with a call on African countries to invest more in improving the quality of education on the continent.

The summit, the tenth edition of its kind, returned following a COVID-19-induced disruption, under the theme "digital transformation in education and skills development for Africa".

The event this year drew about 300 participants from over 40 countries who will be meeting between Nov.16 and Nov. 18 to discuss Africa's digital transformation, with a focus on the education sector.

The summit is being held alongside an exhibition by young African innovators.

In his address to the summit, which was also live-streamed on various social media platforms, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema said there was a need for African countries to increase their investment in the education sector to improve the quality of education being provided.

He said the private sector should partner with governments to increase investment in the education sector to ensure that required skills for industries were imparted.

He believed that partnership in investing in the sector was vital in view of limited resources.

He further called for the leveraging of technology as an important element in the provision of quality education and the enhancement of skills.

Jakaya Kikwete, the chairperson of the Global Partnership for Education, bemoaned the low levels of investment in education which has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kikwete, also the former Tanzanian president, said the education sector in Africa was facing a crisis that must be dealt with to allow more children to attend school.

He said about 5.5 million children in Africa were on the verge of joining 100 million other children who are currently not attending school unless massive investment was made.

The former Tanzanian president said the provision of quality education was the best way to create an Africa that will ensure sustained economic development.

He added that Africa needs a generation of young people with skills to spur economic development.

Felix Mutati, the minister of Technology and Science, said there was a need for Africa to take advantage of the information and communication technologies (ICT) to come up with homegrown solutions to tackle various challenges the continent was facing.

He said the theme of the summit was vital for Africa, which was on a path to digital transformation.

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