The African Development Fund and Smart Africa Alliance have collaborated to launch the Institutional Support for Digital Payments and e-Commerce Policies for Cross-Border Trade Project (IDECT). The $1.5 million project aims to streamline digital trade and e-commerce policies across 10 African countries, namely Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Uganda, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, the Republic of Congo, São Tomé and Príncipe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
IDECT will evaluate the policy gaps in the digital trade and e-commerce ecosystems of these countries and implement regional training and capacity-building programs for governments, private sectors, and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). The project is expected to train 600 participants, of which 60% will be women and youth. Additionally, a certified gender-sensitive e-learning training program will be developed and disseminated to 2,500 participants, of whom 60% will be women.
The agreement was signed on April 25, a day ahead of the 2023 Transform Africa Summit held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from April 26 to April 28. African Development Bank Director General for Southern Africa Region Leïla Mokaddem hailed the IDECT as a pivotal step towards strengthening Africa’s digital trade and e-commerce landscape, adding that the project would foster a digital trade ecosystem that generates employment opportunities across the continent.
Lacina Koné, CEO of Smart Africa, expressed the organization’s commitment to fostering digital transformation and economic growth in Africa, stating that the IDECT project lays the foundation for a thriving digital trade and e-commerce ecosystem by addressing policy gaps and promoting gender-sensitive training.