Youth in Africa Digital Health and Connectivity

Virtual Session link: Digital Session, Meeting ID: 967 8748 7898

Session objectives 

  1. The Lancet and Financial Times Commission Governing health futures 2030: Growing up in a digital world explores the convergence of digital health and AI with UHC, focusing especially on improving and safeguarding the health and well-being of children and young people. Multi stakeholder dialogue hearings are a central piece of the Commission’s work, bolstering meaningful interactions between the digital and health sector. Representation from countries with the highest youth populations must be involved, many of which are in low- and middle-income countries located in Africa. This representation could include government, civil society and youth representatives, industry (telecom operators, tech start-ups), academia, and development agencies active in the region.

Session abstract

The total number of children and young people is set to increase between now and 2030. In 2030, the global population will be 8.55 billion, of which 3.31 billion (39%) will be young people under 25 and 2.03 billion (24%) will be children under 15. Almost one-third of all children under 15 will live in Africa, and it will be the only continent where the population of children under five is greater than the population of people over aged 65. Africa will also be home to the countries with the highest proportions of the population under age 25.

Countries with the most youthful populations in the world are facing a double disadvantage of high child mortality – a strong indicator of weak health systems – and low access to digital technology – a potential resource for health system strengthening and universal health coverage (UHC). In other words, while digital technology can play a role in reducing mortality and improving health systems, connectivity is at its lowest in the countries that most need this support. Without a shared, integrative approach to digital transformation of health futures, these countries risk digital exclusion and face an increasingly large digital divide. Within these countries, children, young people, and children remain most disconnected and thereby more vulnerable, posing a barrier to economic growth and sustainable development.

Digital connectivity and inclusion are important factors that determine and enable economic growth and development in order to achieve SDGs.

Event Timeslots (1)

SE 03

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