Shaquille O’Neal Named Digital Ambassador For Education With PDAA, Supports Digital Access In Africa

Following President Joe Biden’s promise of a new Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA), and Vice President Kamala Harris’ Call to Action, the Administration today launches the groundbreaking Partnership for Digital Access in Africa (“PDAA”).

This partnership was created to bring together public and private sector leaders from Africa, the United States, and other parts of the world to bridge Africa’s digital divide. This announcement comes as President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted President William Ruto and First Lady Rachel Ruto of Kenya for a State Visit at the White House on May 23-24.

This visit marks the 60th anniversary of U.S.-Kenya diplomatic relations and reinforces the strategic partnership between the two nations. It also represents the first State visit by an African leader since 2008. “President and First Lady Ruto’s visit marks a historic moment in our shared journey towards digital accessibility and affordability.

Concurrently, the launch of PDAA is not only timely but crucial, to ensure that we harness the power of digital innovation for the betterment of all Africans – especially women and girls – across the continent,” said Former Liberian President and PDAA Co-Chair Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. “In this era of rapid technological advancement, this initiative stands as a beacon of our commitment to inclusive growth for our people. Its importance to achieving our overarching goal of gender parity, including in digital access, further motivates our involvement and participation in the PDAA.

In furtherance of these goals, Shaquille O’Neal, Hall of Fame NBA veteran and television personality, also has signed on to this initiative in an effort to increase digital access throughout Africa. “I am honored to serve as PDAA’s Digital Ambassador for Education,” O’Neal said. “I was thrilled to meet President Ruto earlier this week, and his support is critical to moving this important work in Africa forward. We are thrilled to have his partnership and support.”

PDAA has formed partnerships with both public and private sector leaders, including the World Bank Group, M-KOPA, Smart Africa, African Leadership Group, LifeHikes, and SpaceX. Each is committed to helping to realize DTA’s mission and objectives. Fueled by its quest to unlock and accelerate real and lasting social-economic development through digital access, PDAA looks forward to expanding its reach and influence through additional strategic alliances. This coming August, PDAA will convene with other like-minded leaders at the Transform Africa Summit in Nairobi.

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