I am delighted to extend my greetings to everyone at the first-ever Demo Africa event. I want to thank the organizers of Demo, the Government of Kenya, and the Lions Africa partners for making this event a reality.
Africa is the only developing region in the world where the growth rate is expected to rise this year. Internet usage has grown more in Africa than on any other continent. Six of the world's ten fastest-growing economies are in sub-Saharan Africa. Urban centers are becoming vital economic hubs. In short, Africa is ripe for growth.
That is why today's conference is so important. We are celebrating the birth of Africa's newest and most innovative products and technologies, but we are also realizing a new era of growth and development. And we need to unleash the power of new technologies to make the most of this moment.
The State Department wants to be your partner in this effort, which is why we started the Lions Africa Partnership in May to mobilize the knowledge, expertise, and resources of top public and private institutions. And today, I am pleased to launch Apps4Africa 2012. This year's competition focuses on developing applications to address youth unemployment issues. It is another example of our support for innovation and entrepreneurship that generates practical African solutions to African challenges.
But ultimately, Africa's future is up to you. You are the ones who must continue to innovate and keep the momentum going to help more people realize their potential.
I can't wait to hear about the results of this conference and the difference you are making in your communities and countries. Thank you.