African Development Fund, Smart Africa Launch $1.5m Project to Bolster Trade and E-commerce across Africa

The African Development Fund and the Smart Africa Alliance have joined forces to start a $1.5 million project to improve digital trade and e-commerce rules in ten African countries.

The IDECT Project will assess policy gaps in the digital trade and e-commerce ecosystems of Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Uganda, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, the Republic of Congo, So Tomé and Prncipe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The project will oversee the implementation of regional training and capacity-building programs for governments, business sectors, and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) focusing on cross-border e-payment and e-commerce.

These initiatives are expected to reach 600 people, with women and youth accounting for 60% of the participants. A recognized gender-sensitive e-learning training program addressing the special issues faced by women in digital trade and e-commerce will also be developed and distributed to 2,500 participants, 60% of whom will be female.

The agreement between the African Development Fund and Smart Africa was signed on Tuesday, April 25, one day before the 2023 Transform Africa Summit, which will be held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from April 26 to 28.

The IDECT, according to African Development Bank Director General for Southern Africa Region Lela Mokaddem, is a critical step in strengthening Africa’s digital trade and e-commerce scene.

This initiative will bolster the development of harmonized e-payment policies, capacity building, and gender-sensitive frameworks, ultimately fostering a digital trade ecosystem that generates employment opportunities across the continent,” she said.

Lacina Koné, CEO of Smart Africa, said: “The IDECT project demonstrates our commitment to fostering digital transformation and economic growth in Africa. By addressing policy gaps and promoting gender-sensitive training, we are laying the foundation for a thriving digital trade and e-commerce ecosystem.”

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