A grant agreement has been signed by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank to carry out Phase 1 of the Upstream Project for Digital Market Development in Africa.
On November 17, a signing ceremony was held at the AUC headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The agreement was signed on behalf of the AUC and the African Development Bank by Ambassador Albert M. Muchanga, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, and Abul B. Kamara, Deputy Director General for the East Africa Region.
Ambassador Muchanga thanked the African Development Bank for its assistance on behalf of the AUC. The Covid-19 pandemic, he claimed, “underlined the importance of digital technology and the digital economy as a whole. In this light, Africa should think big when it comes to digital development, digital economy, and the grand potential of integration and economic progress.”
In September of this year, the board of directors of the African Development Bank gave its approval to the disbursement of 7 million Units of Account ($9.73 million).
The project helps the AUC carry out initiatives in the digital economy that will improve the continental single digital market. Additionally, it encourages the execution of the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa and the African Continental Free Trade Area.
According to Dr. Kamara, the initiative would assist in implementing the High 5 goals of the African Development Bank as catalysts for achieving Agenda 2063 targets and the continent’s economic transformation to create The Africa We Want.
The recession brought on by COVID-19, which exposed various deficiencies in the African digital economy ecosystem, serves as the project’s historical context.
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.