The African Development Fund (ADF) have partnered with Smart Africa Alliance to launch a $1.5 million project called the Institutional Support for Digital Payments and e-Commerce Policies for Cross-Border Trade Project (IDECT).
The initiative is aimed at streamlining digital trade and e-commerce policies across ten African countries, including 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 examine the digital trade and e-commerce ecosystems to assess policy gaps. This will help it develop gender-sensitive training programs and evaluate the challenges faced by women in digital trade and e-commerce.
The IDECT project aims to achieve this by implementing regional training and capacity-building programs. These programs will focus on cross-border e-payment and e-commerce for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), private sectors and governments. The project aims to reach 600 participants, of which 60% will be women and youth.
The project’s gender-sensitive e-learning training program will address the unique challenges faced by women in Africa’s digital-trade and e-commerce spaces. Overall, the project will reach 2,500 participants, of which 60% will be women. The objective of the program is to promote gender-sensitive frameworks that support the development of digital trade ecosystems in Africa.
According to Leïla Mokaddem, the African Development Bank Director General for Southern Africa Region, IDECT is a significant milestone in strengthening Africa’s digital trade and e-commerce landscape. She believes that the initiative will promote harmonized e-payment policies, capacity-building, and gender-sensitive frameworks. Ultimately, the project will foster digital trade ecosystems that create employment opportunities for Africans.
Lacina Koné, the CEO of Smart Africa, said the IDECT project demonstrates their commitment to fostering digital transformation and economic growth in Africa. The project addresses policy gaps and promotes gender-sensitive training, which lays the foundation for a thriving digital trade and e-commerce ecosystem.
The IDECT agreement was signed on April 25, 2023, ahead of the 2023 Transform Africa Summit, which takes place in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from April 26-28. The initiative is expected to enhance cross-border trade and e-commerce policies in Africa, promoting gender-sensitive frameworks that support the growth of digital trade ecosystems across the continent.