Higher quest for digital revolution


By Shadreck Chikoti, contributor:

Malawi continues to position itself advantageously within the continental and global digital landscape in a quest to fully realise its full digitalisation potential to transform the economy in line with the social demands of the 21st century.

President Lazarus Chakwera has on several occasions overtly disclosed his intention to make Malawi a digital economy at the earliest possible opportunity.


It is for this reason that the Transform Africa Summit in Zimbabwe could not have come at a better time for an economy itching to graduate to an upper middle income status in the coming decades guided by the long term development blueprint Malawi 2063.

The Transform Africa Summit is an annual event that brings together stakeholders in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in Africa.

The event is organised by the Smart Africa Alliance, a partnership of African governments, private-sector players and international organisations working towards the development of a single digital market in Africa.


The summit aims to promote the adoption of digital technologies across the continent and accelerate Africa’s socio-economic transformation.

The 2023 edition of Transform Africa Summit is taking place at the Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from April 26 to 28.

The theme for the summit is ‘Smart Cities: Fast Forward’, and it will focus on how African cities can leverage technology to become more efficient, sustainable, and liveable. The summit will feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, exhibitions and networking sessions.

Some of the topics that will be covered at the summit are digital infrastructure, smart governance and digital entrepreneurship.

Malawi’s participation in the Transform Africa Summit is of great importance to the country, especially in terms of the development of its ICT sector.

The summit, which brings together African leaders, policymakers and technology experts, provides a platform for discussing and implementing strategies aimed at transforming Africa into a knowledge-based economy.

Malawi has made significant strides in the ICT sector over the years, with the government implementing various policies and initiatives aimed at promoting digital inclusion and literacy. The country has also signed several pacts with other countries aimed at promoting cooperation in ICT development.

One such pact is the Malawi- Zambia Information and Communication Technology Project, which was signed in 2018.

The project aims to improve cross-border connectivity between Malawi and Zambia by constructing a fibre-optic cable network linking the two countries.

This will not only improve internet access but also facilitate trade and commerce between the two nations.

In addition to this, Malawi has also signed several agreements with China aimed at promoting cooperation in various sectors, including ICT.

In 2020, Malawi signed an agreement with China’s Huawei Technologies aimed at developing the country’s ICT infrastructure. The agreement will see Huawei provide technical support and training to Malawian ICT professionals.

Under Chakwera’s administration, there have been renewed efforts to promote ICT development in Malawi.

In his first State of the Nation address in September 2020, Chakwera highlighted the importance of digital transformation in driving economic growth and development.

He announced plans to establish a National Fibre Backbone Network that would connect all districts in Malawi.

Chakwera’s administration has also prioritised digital literacy programmes aimed at equipping citizens with skills necessary to participate in the digital economy.

In November 2020, government launched a programme aimed at providing free ICT training to over 16,000 young people across the country.

Malawi’s participation in the Transform Africa Summit provides an opportunity for the country to showcase its efforts in the ICT sector and learn from other countries’ experiences.

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