The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has urged African countries to make the appropriate investments to improve a digitally transformed economy.

Mr Jean-Paul Adam, Director, Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources at UNECA, placed a request on Tuesday during a webinar in Abuja.

The webinar was arranged by the Africa Information and Communication Technology Alliance (AfICTA) in partnership with UNECA under the theme "Unlocking Africa 's Digital Potential amid COVID-19."

Adam said that the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic triggered the interruption of operations, and hence the need for a paradigm change.

"Africa needs to resolve problems that have hindered its digital production. There are problems with gender inequality, broadband capacity, poor internet connectivity.

"One of these problems will allow us to link a vast number of our citizens and maintain Fintech 's momentum in our developing economies.

"Africa must make use of emerging digital transformation technologies.

"We have the potential to expand our economies digitally, but investments in the right sectors are required," says Adam.

Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have been praised for using their digital technologies for the fight against the pandemic.

The pandemic has created more opportunities for ICT businesses to thrive, said Mr Hossan Elgamal, Chairman, AfICTA, in his welcome speech earlier.

Elgamal added that it was time for investments in ICT technology, tech ecosystem issues and digital transformation administration.

The Chairman also said that the synergy between the universities, AfICTA and UNECA will help to grow ideas on the continent 's market.

Smart Africa CEO Lacina Kobe said the African continent is moving towards digital growth but needs to exploit its youthful population more for development.

In a discussion on improving access to and affordability of broadband in Africa, Inye Kemabonta, CEO, Tech Law Development Services, recommended development regulation.

Some African states such as Nigeria have already increased the broadband sector according to Kemabonta, but the demand is low, and the cost of data is high.

"Most people don't use the Internet when they don't need it, but developing regulations will make demand stronger and that is when people are convinced that information is necessary.

"If Internet access becomes easy, demand will rise and data prices will fall," he said.

Mr Seun Olugbile, CEO Data Analytics Privacy Tech Ltd, proposed the use of data to mobilize ICT stakeholders to negotiate better business opportunities for Africa.

Olugbile also said that a policy framework for digital Africa needs to be developed that can enable data to be used for regulation and enforcement purposes.

Mr Kojo Boakye, Director of Africa 's Facebook Public Policy, said that for up to 25 years, the Organization has been working to provide Africa with potential for sustainable digital development.

Boakye added that they work internationally with mobile operators to improve internet connectivity.

He called, however, for appropriate government regulations to ease digital transformation responsibilities and allow the participation of the private sector.

Mrs Nnenna Nwakanma, Chief Web Advocate, World Wide Web Foundation, said that African countries should prioritize digital transformation policies and ensure that investors are attracted to their implementation.

Former AfICTA Chairman, Mr Jimson Olufuye called for cybersecurity awareness to raise the confidence of internet users, grassroots Internet access and right-of-way reduction.