Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said there is need for governments in Africa to unite and create a single digital market to offer attractive opportunities for domestic and international entrepreneurs and investors.

Mr. Blair said when countries come together, it allows better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across the continent. The former British premier noted that the move will create the right conditions for digital networks and innovations while maximising the growth potential for digital economies.

Speaking at the Gear Box Enterprise in industrial area Nairobi where he had visited to see exhibitions on innovations supported by the Tony Blair Foundation, the former Premier said it was important for governments to formulate right-based legislation on data to provide common rules for usage of data to enhance utility and efficacy across all sectors.

Mr Blair said governments in the continent need to develop infrastructure to enable growth of enterprises that will create jobs while the academia stimulate innovations. He said it was important for society to train the youth to be thinkers who will accelerate change in the society.

Mr Blair explained that, although the automation in manufacturing in the fast-moving digital world was a threat to creation of employment, there was need for governments to deploy technology to innovate to create greater opportunities that attract highly skilled and highly paying jobs.

Mr. Blair noted that automation would offer opportunities for development and provide potential for economies to leap-frog traditional challenges. He said use of technology such as sensors, big data and machine learning could transform Africa’s productivity while artificial intelligence powered learning platforms could bridge Africa’s basic skills deficit.

He said, his foundation working in 50 African countries, was keen on improving standards of living in the continent through supporting innovative efforts to increase productivity and create jobs.

Cabinet Secretary for ICT Joe Mucheru commended the Tony Blair Foundation for improving lives in the continent and specifically in Kenya through support of innovations that create jobs and improve standards of living.

Mr. Mucheru said, technological revolution was a concern to policy makers and observed that the advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning, adoption of blockchain and the impact of self-driving cars among other innovations will distinctly change the structure of the society.

By Cheruiyot Korir/Milka Ndoncho, July 4th 2019