Saturday, February 24, 2024

AfDB, African Union Commission sign $9.73m deal to drive Africa’s digital market

The African Union Commission and the African Development Bank have signed a grant agreement to implement Phase 1 of the Upstream Project for Digital Market Development in Africa.

The African Development Bank’s board of directors approved the grant of 7 million Units of Account ($ 9.73 million) in September this year.

The project supports the AUC’s implementation of digital economy projects to enhance a continental single digital market. It also supports the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa.

The project comes as the backdrop of the Covid-19-induced recession that exposed several gaps in the African digital economy ecosystem.

It addresses these gaps. Phase 1 runs from 2023 to 2026. It will focus on three main components namely: digital enablers; digital trade and e-commerce adoption; and support actions. Specifically, the project will help strengthen the frameworks (strategic, policy, regulatory and conceptual) and cross-cutting (gender, climate change and resilience) dimensions for the development of Africa’s digital economy.

These frameworks are key substrates to guide the establishment of a single digital market across the African continent by 2030.

The project will therefore contribute to the implementation of digital enablers—universal access to broadband infrastructure, sovereign African cloud, African digital market, etc.—e-commerce and digital trade promotion programs for medium, small and micro enterprises and start-ups. It will also help to create a conducive ecosystem for digital trust, skills and African experts’ networks.

The AUC Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, Ambassador Albert M. Muchanga, expressed the AUC’s gratitude to the African Development Bank for its support. He said: “The Covid-19 pandemic underscored the importance of digital technologies and the digital economy as a whole, and in that regard, Africa should think big when it comes to digital development, digital economy and the grand opportunities on integration and economic
growth.”

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