The African Development Fund and the Smart Africa Alliance have jointly launched a US$1.5 million project to streamline digital trade and e-commerce policies across 10 African countries.
The Institutional Support for Digital Payments and e-Commerce Policies for Cross-Border Trade (IDECT) Project, as it is known, will evaluate 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, São Tomé and Príncipe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The project will aim to drive the implementation of regional training and capacity-building programmes focusing on cross-border e-payment and e-commerce for governments, the private sector, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These programmes are expected to reach 600 participants, with 60% being women and youth.
Additionally, a certified gender-sensitive e-learning training programme addressing the unique challenges faced by women in digital trade and e-commerce will be developed and disseminated to 2,500 participants, of whom 60% will be women.
Smart Africa is a commitment from African heads of state and government to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and usage of information and communications technologies. Since its founding in 2014, the Smart Africa Alliance has grown to include 36 African countries.
Meanwhile, the African Development Bank has signed a US$525,000 grant agreement with Africa Fintech Network (AFN), a continent-wide institution that unites African fintech leaders, organisations and stakeholders, for the setting-up of the Africa Fintech Hub, an online portal that will serve as a one-stop shop for all fintech activities in Africa.
This hub is a digital platform that will enable fintech associations across Africa to pool resources and knowledge, and strengthen relationships and partnerships, as well as showcase the work of fintech on the continent, including groups that are female-led or owned.
The Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), a pan-African initiative designed to catalyse digital financial inclusion throughout Africa, will provide funding and technical assistance to the Africa Fintech Network to host and manage the African Fintech Hub.
The ADFI is also supporting projects to enhance the deployment of digital micro-insurance to smallholder farmers in Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya, as well as to build capacity for cyber resilience and help to remove barriers to access to fintech services across the continent.