Smart Africa and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) have signed an agreement to collaborate and develop a Single Digital Market for Africa under the AfCFTA. This collaboration aims to strengthen information, communication, and technology in Africa to facilitate digital trade and transformation. The agreement was signed by H.E Wamkele Mene, the Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat and Lacina Koné, DG/CEO of Smart Africa during the Transform Africa Summit 2023 in Zimbabwe.
The agreement outlines several areas where the two organizations will cooperate to achieve their goals. They will provide technical support to develop and implement the AfCFTA Protocol on Digital Trade. This will help to establish a framework for digital trade within the AfCFTA, which is expected to increase trade opportunities and boost economic growth.
The two organizations will cooperate on digital transformation, which involves the integration of digital technologies into various aspects of African economies, including e-commerce, e-government, and digital infrastructure development.
The agreement seeks to promote digital financial inclusion in Africa. This involves leveraging digital technologies to expand financial services to underserved and unbanked populations, which is critical to driving financial inclusion and reducing poverty in Africa.
Additionally, the two organizations will develop a unified approach to digital cross-border payments, including supporting the implementation of pilot projects within the AfCFTA. This will involve streamlining payment processes and reducing the cost of cross-border transactions.
Lastly, the agreement provides for the preparation of studies, technical notes, and briefs on implementing and advocating the AfCFTA Protocol on Digital Trade. This will help to raise awareness and encourage stakeholders to adopt digital technologies and support the development of a Single Digital Market in Africa.
The collaboration between Smart Africa and the AfCFTA is a significant step towards building a Single Digital Market in Africa. It demonstrates African leaders’ commitment to leveraging digital technologies to drive economic growth and promote financial inclusion. With the agreement’s implementation, African countries can harness the power of digital technologies to unlock new trade opportunities, create jobs, and boost economic growth on the continent.