The North Africa’s Regional Director of the African ICT Foundation, Lobna Smida, actively participated at the just concluded 2019 ” Gnaoua Festival” Essaouira in Morocco.
An international, cultural and artistic event that gathers different institutions and creators from all over the world in Essaouira, Morocco had in attendance artists, Scientist, literary people, philosophers, musicians, poets and filmmakers who had come to debate with professors, researchers, anthropologists, historians, sociologists, policy-makers during the free speech rules in a spirit of listening, citizenship, commitment and empathy.
The debates are enriched, year after year, by citizens’ and State representatives: ministers, parliamentarians, elected officials, ambassadors, community activists, unionists, and ordinary citizens.
The African ICT Foundation participation at the 22nd edition of the festival which started from June 20th and ends June 23rd, 2019 is in line with our goal of “accelerating ICT penetration in Africa”, the Executive secretary of the foundation, Emmanuel Bassey was quoted during a press briefing in Lagos, Nigeria.
Lobna Smida who delivered on a topic “Assistive Technology – Health, well-being and socioeconomic benefits of Assistive Technology for Africans everywhere” during the free speech rules stressed on the need for ICT private and public sector’s practitioners to invest on the technology to alleviate the sufferings of the aged and that of people living with disability in Africa and the world in general.
Assistive technology which is an umbrella term covering the systems and services related to the delivery of assistive products and services; It maintains or improve an individual’s functioning and independence, thereby promoting their well-being. Hearing aids, wheelchairs, communication aids, spectacles, prostheses, pill organizers and memory aids are all examples of assistive products.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO),” globally, more than 1 billion people need one or more assistive products”. With an aging global population and a rise in non-communicable diseases more than 2 billion people will need at least one assistive product by 2030 and with many older people needing two or more. Today, only 1 in 10 people in need have access to assistive products.
Lobna who was quoted in parts said “I am so honored by this invitation to represent the African ICT Foundation being its Regional Director in North Africa and to talk about the need for exploring the richness of our continent’s potentials and the need to collaborate with the whole world to make our actions speak louder than our words.
“My personal feeling as an ambitious Ambassador makes me so excited about doing the best.
“Follow me to watch my activities soon”
African ICT Foundation is an independent not-for-profit, and non-partisan empowerment, educational and research organization whose mission is to formulate, evaluate, and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovations and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress in the ICT ecosystem, Africa.
The Foundation, according to the Executive Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Bassey, is led by a board of experts in the ICT industry in Africa and African descent that is internationally recognized in policy issues and have recognized footprint in the industry.”
He said the board consists a team of policy analysts and fellows includes authors and recognized experts in the fields of telecommunications, public policy advocacy, economics, tax policy, trade, privacy, cybersecurity, and life sciences, among many others.
The Foundation is run through a secretariat based in Nigeria with other offices in Africa.