A $1.5 million project to harmonize digital trade and e-commerce regulations across 10 African nations has been launched in collaboration with the African Development Fund and Smart Africa Alliance.
A day before the 2023 Transform Africa Summit, which will take place in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from April 26 to 28, the agreement was signed on Tuesday, April 25.
Lela Mokaddem, director general of the African Development Bank’s Southern Africa Region, called the IDECT a crucial step in advancing the continent’s digital trade and e-commerce environment.
According to her, “this initiative will support the development of standardized e-payment policies, capacity building, and gender-sensitive frameworks, ultimately fostering a digital trade ecosystem that fosters employment opportunities across the continent.”
The Institutional Support for Digital Payments and e-Commerce Policies for Cross-Border Trade Project (IDECT) will assess policy voids in the digital trade and e-commerce ecologies 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.
For governments, the corporate sector, and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), the project will oversee the implementation of regional training and capacity-building programs focusing on cross-border e-payment and e-commerce. 600 participants are anticipated for these activities, 60% of whom will be women and young people. Additionally, a certified gender-sensitive e-learning training program will be created and distributed to 2,500 participants, 60% of whom will be women, to address the special challenges faced by women in digital trade and e-commerce.
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.”