AfDB and Smart Africa Launch a $1.5 Million Project to Accelerate African eCommerce

African Development Bank Group and Smart Africa have launched a $1.5 Million project to enhance digital trade and eCommerce in Africa.

African Development Bank Group and Smart Africa have launched a $1.5 million project to enhance digital trade and e-commerce ecosystems across Africa.

The $1.5 million African Development Fund project aims to enhance digital trade and e-commerce ecosystems across 10 African countries by streamlining policies, implementing capacity-building programs, and developing gender-sensitive e-learning training.

The proposed project is an institutional Support for Digital Payments and e-Commerce Policies for Cross-border Trade (IDECT). It will be financed with an ADF-15 Regional Public Good grant and the Executing Agency is the Smart Africa Secretariat. This project proposes to address key policy gaps to unlock cross-border digital payments that have the potential to drive the growth of the African e-commerce market and accelerate intra-Africa trade. This is a project aimed at strengthening institutional capacity and promoting sound policies to support the growth of the digital payments and e-Commerce ecosystem. The funds will be invested in identifying gaps in the ecosystem (primarily related to cross-border activities), offering practical training/ capacity building programs, and establishing policy dialogue platforms to address identified gaps. The total estimated cost of the project is UA 1.28 million comprising UA 1.15 million ADF grant financing to Smart Africa Alliance, and UA 0.13 million in-kind contribution from SAS. The timeframe for the implementation is 3 years, starting 13 December 2021 and ending 31 December 2024.

The Project’s main development objective is to strengthen the enabling environment for digital trade across Africa by developing robust/ harmonized e-payment ecosystem policies. The specific objectives are: i) Develop a gender responsive policy framework to facilitate cross-border trade through harmonized e-Payment systems; ii) Promote dialogue across e-payments stakeholders to increase public-private participation/projects that enhance e-payment ecosystem, and iii) Support targeted countries to develop action plans to enable e-Payments for the facilitation of inclusive digital trade.

The targeted countries are restricted to those that are eligible for ADF financing. Target countries for the Gap Analysis study: Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Uganda, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, DRC, Sao Tome and Principe, Congo. Key stakeholders: Government, Regulatory bodies, SMEs (with a focus on women and youth) and Private sector operators. The direct beneficiaries of the Project will be selected based on a transparent selection criteria and publicly accessible online campaign/invitations to join webinar/ training workshops.

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