Pace of change in digital era will accelerate economic growth between India and Africa: Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship & Education, GoI

NEW DELHI : Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship & Education, Government of India, while addressing the session on Future of a Digitalization in India-Africa Partnerships at LEADS 2021, organized by FICCI, today mooted e-VidyaBharati and e-ArogyaBharati Network Project that will serve as a digital bridge between India and Africa, shrinking the distance between the two nations.

LEADS is curated as a strategic platform for global leaders from Asia, Europe, Africa, CIS, Americas & the Pacific, to deliberate on the tenets of Leadership, economic Excellence and Adaptability to change and to build on pillars of Diversity and Sustainability.

Mr Pradhan further said that the achievements of Digital India in the last six years has been phenomenal in developing a national digital identification system that include Aadhaar, BharatNet, National Knowledge Network, Meghraj, to name a few.

The Minister also noted that in this digital era, the only constant is change, and the pace of change is accelerating economic growth between both the countries.

Mr Uday Shankar, President, FICCI said, “Digital transformation could be a game-changer for Africa. It is an opportunity to boost economic growth and industrialisation, alleviate poverty and improve people’s lives. Digital technology will contribute to the African Union Agenda 2063.”

Mr Ramachandran Ganapathi, Chairman, Trigyn Technologies Ltd, said that digitalization has made strong inroads in every sphere of our lives. The pandemic has further accentuated the importance and relevance of digital technology manifolds. The role of e-Governance has assumed great importance as governments across countries attempt to collect and exchange information and provide critical public services to the citizens and business using the digital mode, he added.

Dr Ajai Chowdhry, Chair, National Committee on Start-ups, FICCI, and Founder HCL remarked that there is a need to build technology platforms, policies and then create a playbook for product start-ups to flourish in successful digitalisation. FICCI, through the India-Rwanda innovation growth programme has also supported Indian start-ups with demonstrated technologies and innovations to scale in Rwanda, he noted.

Mr Ade Ayeyemi, CEO, Ecobank noted that Africa FTA will create massive opportunities for India.


Mr Raghunath Mandawa, CEO, Airtel Africa, Kenya, said that Africa’s partnership with India and leveraging in its experience is the answer to transform African Continent to a digitalised and resilient Africa. Lot of innovative technology needs to be built up in African continent for Indian companies to penetrate the continent.


Mr Suresh Sethi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd noted that there is a huge opportunity for India and Africa in the education sector.

The session was concluded with the following key outcomes:

Internet penetration and connectivity is the key to a successful digitized Africa.
Governance, Healthcare, Education & Financial Inclusion are the pillars for developing a digitalised ecosystem in African countries.
Collaboration towards incubating start-ups in Africa is the key in the efforts towards African digitization.